Porsche to use new platform for 2016 Panamera
Porsche is apparently scrambling to finish the second-generation Panamera ahead of its planned 2016 release. This is due to the German firm aiming to not only maintain the car’s reputation of being one of the world’s best sports saloon cars, but to also build it on a brand new platform.
A new and advanced rear-wheel and four-wheel drive platform, dubbed the MSB platform, will form the foundation of the new Panamera, along with a new range of V6 and V8 engines.
The platform change has been necessary to accommodate the level of weight saving needed to keep the new Panamera at roughly the same weight as the old model, even though the car has gained more creature comforts and improved safety.
The new car makes extensive use of lightweight materials such as magnesium, multi-phase steel and aluminium skin panels. The same technology is employed on the latest 911, and Porsche is aiming to decrease the weight of the Panamera by a similar margin as the Carrera.
The Panamera will maintain dimensions similar to the current model, but a lot of effort has been put into making the four-door more atheistically pleasing. The design is still expected to divide opinion, but should appeal to a wider audience, without alienating the car’s past.
While the platform change is good news, the most significant update to the Panamera is a new range of V6 and V8 engines. Porsche convinced the Volkswagen board to allow it to produce its own engines instead of reusing an Audi unit, which means the characteristics of the power units will be determined at the drawing board stage, instead of trying to adapt an existing design.
Both engines are meant to be turbocharged and will probably also make their way into the Cayenne at some stage.
Bentley, another Volkswagen Group company, has also been given the green light to build its new Continental GT and Flying Spur on the same platform as the Panamera, which will allow greater economies of scale. That might keep the bean counters happy, but it means that the MSB platform will have to be compatible with a V12 engine, as well being rigid enough to underpin a convertible.
Of course, that also opens the door to a convertible and or coupé version of the Panamera, although that’s pure speculation at this stage.
Offered alongside the new V6 and V8 petrol engines will be an Audi-sourced V6 diesel, hopefully one of the latest electric turbocharged units, as well as a hybrid. While the diesel will lack the uniqueness of the Porsche-designed power plants, Audi has invested a huge amount in its TDI program and is producing some of the most advanced diesel engines on the market.
The diesel Panamera will probably slot in as the most frugal and most affordable of the range.
As mentioned, Porsche is aiming to have the Panamera ready for a 2016 release, which is very soon considering the level of from-scratch engineerin required, but we are quite excited to see what Zuffenhausen comes up with.