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 range will also use the platform.
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 be carried over, though with some all-new engine designs. For 2014, the Panamera S already received a new twin-turbo V-6, and for the new 2017 Panamera we should see more potent variants like the Turbo benefit from a new V-8.
A plug-in hybrid model will once again be offered, but with improved battery technology helping to lower weight and increase capacity. The current Panamera S E-Hybrid weighs a hefty 4,609 pounds. A long-wheelbase ‘Executive’ model should also be introduced at some point.