Interesting things are happening at the Nurburgring these days. Mazda is there with a prototype of the RX-8, likely training a new development driver, and Porsche is turning laps around the famous track with a Panamera test car. This isn’t the facelifted version we spied earlier this year, which leaves us with a question in our minds – what is the Stuttgart-based company working on?

If you take a closer look at the registration plates of this Panamera, you’ll notice it’s a different car to all previous prototypes we’ve spotted on the ‘Ring. Still, it looks very similar to the one we filmed back in August this year but it’s lacking the additional aero body components. It’s also missing the oversized exhaust system of one of the previous trial cars. The engine sound appears to be identical though, which makes us believe work on the potential more hardcore version of the stylish saloon continues.

According to initial details, the vehicle in question should be capable of pushing out about 820 bhp, which should be possible thanks to an upgraded internal combustion engine. The first signs hint the pumped-up version will be based on the facelifted Panamera, most likely on the Turbo modification and not on the Turbo S E-Hybrid. But that doesn’t mean the prototype you see in the video isn’t electrified.

Unofficial information suggests the powertrain could benefit from a mild-hybrid system but, unfortunately, the exact specifications of this setup are not known at the moment. Word on the street is the performance Panamera will arrive at some point next year, after the launch of the refreshed model, and won’t be a regular member of the lineup but a special edition built in limited numbers.