Porsche is almost at the end of development of its second-generation Panamera and the latest prototypes we've spotted are wearing barely any camouflage gear.
The new Panamera is expected on the market near the end of the year, most likely as a 2017 model, and this time there will be a new wagon variant in addition to the sedan. We're also expecting a new generation of the long-wheelbase Panamera Executive at some point.
Our photographer tells us that the new Panamera is slightly longer than the current one, and from previous test mules we know its track is slightly wider, too. In some of the shots, we can also see a very large rear wing being extended. Porsche’s Panamera Sport Turismo concept from 2012 hints at the styling we can expect.
2017 Porsche Panamera spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
In previously published shots, we can see some of the details of the new interior. The steering wheel looks like your standard modern Porsche design but the center stack appears smaller. It still contains some climate control features, and sitting above it is a single arm rest for the driver which is new. Also new are two giant cupholders, instead of the current model’s single unit.
Underpinning the car is a brand new platform that will eventually spawn several high-end models from the Volkswagen Group. The new platform is the Modular Standard Platform, or MSB when derived from its German title “Modularer Standardantrieb-Baukasten,” and it’s designed for large front-engined cars with either rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. Bentley’s next Continental and Flying Spur models will also use the platform.
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo conceptEnlarge Photo
Thanks to a mix of materials such as high-strength steel, aluminum and even some composites, the MSB platform will see that the new Panamera is both lighter and stiffer than the current model. Weight savings could be as high as 200 pounds, depending on the variant.
The variety of powertrains on offer for the current Panamera is likely to remain, albeit with some all-new engine designs thrown in. The 2014 Panamera S already received a new twin-turbo V-6, and for the new Panamera we should see more potent variants like the GTS and Turbo benefit from a new V-8. A plug-in hybrid model will also be offered once again, but with improved battery technology helping to lower weight and increase capacity. The current Panamera S E-Hybrid weighs a hefty 4,609 pounds.
Look for a debut very soon, either at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show later this month or the 2016 Paris Auto Show in September.