The Nürburgring acknowledges several categories of records, including compact cars, sports cars, prototypes, etc. Then there is “executive cars,” which are cars like the BMW 7 Series, Audi A7, and Mercedes S-Class. And also the Porsche Panamera, which recently set the bar for the class.
Frankly, I hate the name and the idea that these cars are for “executives,” but I don’t make the rules. Here’s video from Porsche with a strange English voiceover that includes footage of the run, along with Porsche people explaining that they were able to coax 710 horsepower out of the Panamera’s V8, up from 620 HP in what is probably a Turbo S.
They also reworked the chassis and put sportier tires on the car. The result was a lap time of 7:29.81, or three-tenths better than the current executive car record holder, a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S which set a time of 7:30.11 in 2018 going around the 12.9-mile course.
Congratulations to Porsche, I guess, though I would like to humbly submit that the “executive car” distinction should not exist, even if I understand intellectually why it does. I mean, look at the gap in times between the following categories:
And then the following two other categories:
“Prototypes” and “Sports cars” are perfectly legit, as is another category, “Racing cars,” which includes non-road legal cars, but for the rest, I would suggest a separate category for Vans, a separate category for Pickups, a separate category for SUVs, and then a final category that is simply non-prototype, non-racing, non-sports Cars.
I mean if the purpose of setting Nürburgring records is to determine The Fastest Whatever, it’s less fun to talk about Fastest Executive Car and more fun to simply talk about the Fastest Car, or the Fastest Van, or the Fastest Pickup. The Panamera isn’t even the fastest four-door car around the ‘Ring, which would be Jaguar XE SV Project 8, which is just annoying and confusing.
Thank you for listening.
Ed Note— Porsche sent a long this explanation of how the classes are determined in case you’re interested.
I wanted to explain the categorization of “Executive” class lap record. This is a category chosen not by Porsche, but by the Nuerburgring itself, based on their new statutes for validating and classifying lap records. Their classification is of vehicles is based on the system as it is used by the Kraftfahrbundesamt (KBA), the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Germany. https://www.kba.de/EN/Home/home_node.html
Here is link to the Nuerburgring page which explains how the current lap records they officially recognize are categorized according to the KBA classification: