Lars Kern, Porsche’s Chief Test Driver took the Cayenne Coupé around the Nürburgring in a record-breaking 7:38.9 minutesby Khris Bharath, on LISTEN 03:35
There have been rumors for a while now about Porsche working on a new performance-oriented variant of its Cayenne Coupé. As always, the sense and nonsense of such a vehicle can be argued at length, but the fact that the folks at Zuffenhausen know a thing or two about how to make an SUV fast is no secret, and now we have even more proof.
Back in the early 2000s, Porsche was in fact one of the early entrants to take the performance SUV segment mainstream with the Cayenne. A lot has changed since then with several new entrants in this space. It was imminent that Porsche would want to retain the status of being one of the best of the crop. How exactly? Well, why not set a new lap record on the Nordschleife? And Porsche did just that, on June 14, 2021.
With the performance model of the Porsche Cayenne and the automaker’s chief test driver, Lars Kern at the wheel, the new Cayenne Coupe set a new record at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and went round the 13-mile track in a record-breaking 7:38.9 minutes.
Kern drove at the Nordschleife on a glorious sunny morning. The conditions to set a record-breaking time were ideal, with the ambient temperature at 74.3 °F outside and 114.8 °F track temperature.
“This Cayenne model is a top performer. During development, we focused on exceptional on-road performance. Our record Cayenne is based on the current Cayenne Turbo Coupé, but has been designed even more consistently for maximum longitudinal and transverse dynamics, ”says Series Manager Stefan Weckbach.
The Cayenne Coupé was four seconds quicker than the previous record-holder, its sister SUV the Audi RS Q8 at 7:42.253 minutes. With Porsche’s new record, it is official: no other vehicle in the "SUV, Vans & Pick-ups" category has ever covered the green hell faster than the new Cayenne Coupé.
The vehicle was bog standard. The only modifications that the Porsche team made to the SUV were the addition of a racing seat and a safety roll-over cage for Kern’s safety. The Cayenne was wearing 22-inch Pirelli P Zero Corsa’s, which have been specially developed for this version of the Cayenne and will be part of standard fitment from the factory.
Visual differences to the other models in the Cayenne’s lineup are minimal as with any Porsche. An integrated large roof spoiler and a slightly more aggressive diffuser complete the backend. These aero components helped the performance SUV to set that blistering time at the Nürburgring.
The new Cayenne Coupé comes with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo-V8. The company is yet to reveal the power figures for the performance model of the 2022 Porsche Cayenne. According to media reports, the SUV has around 640 hp.
This of course will mean that the Cayenne Coupé has less power than the now 690 hp of the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. Although the new performance model weighs significantly less and it has a far more uncompromising chassis, the set-up was most likely done at you guessed it, the Nürburgring.
Is this the Cayenne Turbo GT that we’ve been waiting for? We’ll know in due course as record-breaking sports SUV is set to have its world premiere soon in a couple of weeks. Even though the new Cayenne hasn’t debuted for the 2022 model year, the certifying authority notarised the SUV as a production vehicle.
The video below shows the complete lap record on the Nordschleife via the vehicle’s onboard camera.