Porsche developing hardcore 2020 Panamera Turbo? (video)

Porsche has been spotted testing a 2020 Panamera Turbo prototype out on the Nurburgring. What’s the big deal, you say? Well, there are a few telltale signs that suggest there could be a more hardcore variant in the works.

The prototype looks pretty much identical to the already-out Panamera Turbo. However, at the front are some aggressive side winglets to aid high-speed stability and front end downforce. Around at the back there seems to be an extra gurney lip on the rear wing, too.

What is also evident is the severity of the testing. The test driver is a wearing a full-face helmet and there appears to be a roll cage apparatus built into the rear of the cabin. These features usually mean the company is laying down some proper benchmarks and trying to find out just how quick it is… and what’s needed to make it quicker.

Porsche introduced the latest second-gen Panamera back in 2017. We suspect there is a facelift coming soon, and with that Porsche might introduce a more hardcore variant above the Turbo and even above the 500kW Turbo S E-Hybrid.

Details on the powertrain are unclear. Porsche may use the hybrid setup, but speculations suggest this might be too heavy for a hardcore variant. Instead, there might be more power extracted from the existing 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.

In the current Turbo the unit produces 404kW. However, the foundations of this engine are also used in the latest Audi RS 6, which produces 441kW. Lamborghini also uses it for the Urus, and that develops 478kW. There have been rumours of a 600kW unit, but again, we’re not sure if this would be in partnership with an electric motor system.

Like many car companies, Porsche is looking to ramp up its electrification options. The company has even suggested electrification (hybrid or fully electric) for the 911 in the near future. Whatever this is, we might have a proper understanding at the Frankfurt motor show, starting September 10. Check it out below. It certainly looks quick.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.