Here’s what appears to be a current-generation Porsche Panamera Turbo spotted by our spy photographers pounding around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, with a curious observation; this particular car has been spotted with rather aggressive aerodynamics treatments, namely dive planes on its front bumper and an enlarged rear wing where the production Turbo’s Transformers-like item was located.
Another set of spy photos (also included here) show the Panamera – presumably the same unit due to the same registration plates worn – fitted with exhaust pipe extensions, though in this case without the front dive planes; this could indicate powertrain development work in progress.
Along with the additions to the Panamera’s bodywork, a roll cage located in both the front and rear occupant compartments can be seen inside the car, along with what appear to be racing bucket seats in the front of the Panamera Turbo development car here. These are curious additions of equipment for a luxury car, though they could hint at a vast performance gain over the current range-topping Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
This means adding further to the plug-in hybrid’s outputs of 680 hp and 850 Nm of torque, which it channels to all four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Our spy photographer sources say Porsche insiders ‘have confirmed’ an output of 820 hp, which will be achieved from a tuned version of an existing engine.
Specific details have yet to surface as to how the 820 hp is targeted, though a prime candidate will be the company’s 4.0 litre biturbo petrol V8 engine, and electric assistance will certainly help in achieving that lofty figure. The most powerful petrol-only production engine of this configuration from within the Volkswagen Group resides in the Lamborghini Urus, with 650 PS and 850 Nm on tap.
The closest competitor boasting such outputs is the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept shown at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, though that remained an exhibition concept; the most potent production release is a purely internal-combustion biturbo V8 with 630 hp and 800 Nm of torque. What will the the eventual product look like, with its ongoing aero development? Watch this space.