- porsche posted a four-minute video of its cayenne turbo s e-hybrid suv lapping the gotland ring in sweden—which is not even done being built.
- the big suv circled the ring in 3:51, a record for the fledgling race venue, not that it counts given the state of construction; 2.6 miles of the 4.6-mile road surface are still unpaved.
- driver tim schrick, a german tv host, was the driver, and he's shown from inside the cayenne making a mighty effort to keep the car on track.
if you've ever wondered how much more of a challenge it is to race on gravel instead of a smooth, paved surface, porsche has an answer for you. the german automaker has just released an unedited, no-frills onboard video of the cayenne turbo s e-hybrid setting a record lap around the still-under-construction swedish gotland ring. that part about the track not yet being done means you get to see just how much harder the driver is working just to keep the car between the lines.
the man behind the wheel is german racing driver and tv presenter tim schrick, who was in sweden with porsche in june to film the close-to-production cayenne on the track for welt drive, a german tv show for which he is a presenter.
"it wasn't our original intent to set a lap time," yannick bitzer, porsche's pr specialist for the cayenne, told car and driver. "we had a few minutes of track time left on the second day, and we put the cam in the car, made sure tim was wearing his flat cap—for safety reasons [laughs]—and sent him for an all-or-nothing run."
bitzer admits that the lap wasn't perfect. the cayenne's pirelli p zero tires were worn out by this time in the testing, and the video ended up a bit overexposed. but that all adds to the lighthearted spirit of the video.
"we are definitively not serious about this 'record,'" bitzer said. "but, interestingly enough, it'll become an everlasting one as soon as the gravel section gets asphalted. mainly, we thought that the video was huge fun to watch and the cayenne was very impressive—even on worn road tires."
the gotland ring is a new track in sweden that is being billed as the "world's first sustainable race and test circuit." today, the 1.9-mile northern section is paved and in use, but the 2.6-mile southern section is still only gravel. the entire track is scheduled to be completed in 2021.
the new suv will reach u.s. dealers in the first quarter of 2020. the plug-in cayenne turbo s e-hybrid uses both a twin-turbo v-8 and a 134-hp electric motor, with an eight-speed automatic transmission. the suv makes 670 horsepower and 633 lb-ft of torque. porsche claims a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds; top speed is electronically limited to 183 mph. all that in an suv that can tow up to 6600 pounds.
porsche has been emphasizing the power and capability of its electrified vehicles recently. earlier this month, an all-electric taycan prototype completed a high-temperature 2128-mile endurance run on a track in nardò, italy. six drivers took part in the 24-hour event in temperatures that reached 107 degrees fahrenheit at times. porsche says the "prototype taycan merely had to pause for quick charging stops and driver changes." how efficient.