2011 Porsche Panamera V-6
Today we have details of another modular platform being developed for Volkswagen Group brands, the premium Modular Standard Platform, or MSB when derived from its German title “Modularer Standardantrieb-Baukasten”.
The MSB is for a conventional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, hence the word “standard” in its title, and it will be used for a range of models including the next-generation Porsche Panamera and Bentley Continental lineup. If approved, there’s also the possibility that the MSB will be used for a Lamborghini sedan, a production version of 2008’s Estoque Concept perhaps.
Development of the MSB is being handled by Porsche, which was made responsible for development of sports car and luxury sedan platforms within the Volkswagen Group--much to the chagrin of Audi. It’s not surprising then that Audi is unlikely to use the platform, though there are reports that the brand with the four rings could be eyeing it for a possible A9 flagship.
As for the platform itself, Car and Driver reports that it will weigh at least 200 pounds less than the platform underpinning the current Panamera. Porsche engineers will achieve this by using a mix of high-strength steel and aluminum in its construction, similar to what they did with the 991 Porsche 911. To further save weight some carbon fiber may also be employed.
The addition of carbon in platform development is something Porsche is also expected to exploit for the design of a new mid-engine platform that will be used for the next-generation Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo successor, and if approved a new Ferrari 458 rival from Porsche.
Importantly, both the MSB and new mid-engine platform will also offer optional all-wheel drive to help differentiate the models being launched by the varying Volkswagen Group brands that share the common architectures.