NEW PANAMERA SPOTTED: Our spy photographers captured images of the new Porsche Panamera while it was being tested. The car will debut in 2016. Images: Automedai
Despite the fact that the face-lifted Porsche Panamera was launched in 2013, Porsche is developing a successor, as shown by these spy-snapped images of the prototype.
The new Panamera isn’t expected on the market until 2016, most likely as a 2017 model. There’s a good reason for this, as underpinning the new car is a new platform that will eventually spawn several high-end models for the Volkswagen Group.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2016 Porsche Panamera
The Modular Standard Platform, or MSB when derived from its German title “Modularer Standardantrieb-Baukasten”, will also be used for Bentley’s next Continental range and in modified form (the engine moved to the rear) to underpin the next Porsche 911.
WEIGHT-SHEDDING NEW PLATFORM
Thanks to a mix of materials such as high-strength steel, aluminium and even some composites, the MSB will see the next Panamera shedding weight and being a lot stiffer than the current model. Weight savings could be as much as 100kg, depending on trim.
In terms of design, the new model will borrow elements from the 2012 Panamera Sport Turismo concept. The shape won’t change much but the new car should appear sleeker and its surfaces more taut.
Despite its critics, the current Panamera has proven a huge hit: more than 100 000 sold since launch in 2009.
V8 ENGINE TO STAY
The variety of engines on offer for the current model is likely to remain, though with revisions to improve efficiency and perhaps boost power on certain models. In 2014 the Panamera S downsized to a twin-turbo V6 from the previous V8 and we expect this to remain unchanged for the new version.
The range-topping Panamera Turbo should retain its V8, however.
A plug-in hybrid model will once again be offered but with improved battery technology helping to reduce 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, however.