NEXT-GEN PANAMERA: The second-generation Porsche Panamera will make its debut in 2017.Image: Automedia
BERLIN, Germany - The development of a successor to Porsche’s Panamera is well underway, as evidenced by the sighting of a prototype undergoing cold-climate testing near the Arctic Circle.
Underpinning the second-generation Panamera is a new platform, the Modular Standard Platform (or MSB when derived from its German title “Modularer Standardantrieb-Baukasten”). It will eventually spawn several high-end models from the Volkswagen Group.
The platform will be used for Bentley’s next Continental range and in modified form (the engine moved to the rear) is tipped to underpin the next Porsche 911.
Thanks to a mix of materials such as high-strength steel, aluminium and even some composites, the MSB platform will see, Porsche claims, that the new Panamera is lighter and stiffer than the outgoing model. Weight savings could be as high as 100kg, depending on trim.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Porsche Panamera
In terms of style, it borrows heavily from 2012’s Panamera Sport Turismo concept. The shape won’t change much but the new sedan should appear sleeker and its surfaces taut. Despite its critics, the current Panamera has proven a huge hit in the market, with more than 100 000 units sold since its 2009 launch, so Porsche isn't likely to rock the boat.
PLUG-IN HYBRID IN THE WORKS
The variety of powertrains on offer for the current model is likely to remain as well, though with revisions to improve efficiency and perhaps boost power. Since 2014, the Panamera S has downsized to a twin-turbo V6 from the previous V8, and we expect this to remain unchanged for the new model. The range-topping Panamera Turbo should retain its V8.
A plug-in hybrid will once again be offer but with improved battery technology helping to lower weight and increase capacity. The current Panamera S E-Hybrid weighs a hefty 2000kg.
Interestingly, a previous report suggested that a manual transmission won't be offered on the new Panamera. All-wheel drive and the long-wheelbase options will remain.
The second-generation Panamera isn’t expected on the market until 2016, most likely as a 2017 model.