A random memory of a Porsche Panamera race car popped into my head today and a quick search turned up this video, shot at Zolder in Belgium. The Panamera has never looked or sounded better.
The car was built in 2010 by touring car specialist N.Technology. Based on a Panamera S, it had a 4.8-litre V8 turning out 450bhp and driving the rear wheels, and weighed well over 500kg less than the road-going version.
It was built for legendary touring car driver Fabrizio Giovanardi – a 10-time champion in series across Europe – to race in the Italian-based Superstars Series, which catered exclusively for big V8 saloons. He entered just six of the 20 races and won four, more than any other driver that year. Had he completed the full season, it’s a near-certainty he would have added another championship trophy to his cabinet.
Sadly for ‘Gio’, N.Technology became embroiled in a failed bid to enter F1 and put the Panamera on the market (it’s website was last updated in 2011, suggesting it has long-since gone out of business entirely).
The Panamera didn’t surface again until 2013 – when this video was shot – run by Petri Corse. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough money to contest the full season, not that it mattered anyway; the Panamera was simply too big to compete against the smaller, nimbler Mercedes C63s and Audi RS5s dominating the Superstars Series by then.
I like the idea that such an improbably huge race car as the Porsche Panamera actually worked and was enormously quick, however briefly its time in the sun lasted. Incidentally, the even bigger Maserati Quattroporte actually won the Superstars title in 2011. Sadly, the Series is no more, folding at the end of 2014. The planned revival has yet to happen, so there’s nowhere to race a big V8 saloon in Europe anymore.
By Only Motors