Car video reviews:

2017 Panamera Spied: Porsche Focusing on Core Models Will Bring an Amazing Panamera

We’ve recently come across a 2017 Porsche Panamera test mule lapping the Nurburgring. Before we get to the details of the second-generation Panamera, we must talk about the business frame Zuffenhausen is using to build the machine.
2017 Porsche Panamera testing 1 photo
You might have noticed all the high-octane efforts the Germans have been doing over the last few years. From the 918 Spyder hypercar to the fully redesigned 919 Le Mans hybrid racer that Porsche has introduced for the 2015 World Endurance Championship, the German engineers have been working overtime to prepare the next-generation of greener powerplants.

Nevertheless, Porsche also needs to work on its core developments. After the first generation and its 2013-launched mid-cycle revamp, the Panamera now wears that label.

The first incarnation of the Panamera was an experiment for Porsche. While it obviously caught on, the inevitable issues were there. First of all, the design was polarising.

Zuffenhausen is currently working on this, with the challenge being to keep the styling in a distinct area that draws attention, but appealing to a larger category of the public.

The cabin of the Panamera has also left certain things to be desired in terms of comfort. The Germans did address this with the Executive long wheelbase version of the revamp, but more space is required for the standard version.

On top of all this, a new generation means added features (perhaps a Head-Up Display), and we’d have to discuss a weight increase here.

Porsche faced a similar challenge with the introduction of the current 991 generation of the 911. They solved the problem by making use of new materials, actually cutting weight by up to 45 kg (lbs).

The same will be done for the Panamera. Following the 911’s path, the Panamera won’t take things into the CFRP zone, focusing on magnesium and aluminum instead.

This means we’ll receive a slightly larger and more gifted car, whose entry-level versions should tip the scales at about 1,900 kg (4,200 lbs).

At the core of the new Panamera, we’ll find the VW Group’s MSB platform, which has already made its debut on the 2016 Audi Q7. The underpinnings-sharing scheme will be more complex than ever, as Bentley will also use the architecture, from their upcoming Betayga SUV to the next-gen Continental family.

The Germans have been long rumored to build a two-door Panamera as a modern-day 928 and while nothing has been officially confirmed, the project may arise later on the new Panamera's life cycle.

While the extra cabin room will also arrive courtesy of a longer wheelbase, Porsche will also reinvent its current ergonomics. The company now uses its one-button-for-each-function philosophy but expect a new touchscreen infotainment system to integrate some of the functions.

In terms of power, Porsche has already introduced all-new 3.0-liter and 3.6-liter V6 units. Nevertheless, the next Panamera will be the first model to welcome the carmaker’s new V8 engine family, which will replace the current 4.8-liter units.

As for the hybrid part of the equation, the current Panamera already offers a plug-in alternative. We’ll remind you of a set of earlier rumors indicating Porsche will use hybrid technology at the top of the range to give us a 600-700 HP petrol-electric Panamera.

And speaking of electric matters, Zuffenhausen isn’t expected to enter the EV market with the Panamera. Sure, Porsche has been rumoured to plan such a car, one that would give Tesla plenty of headaches, but the task is expected to be carried out by a different model. Tentatively called 717, this four-door would be slotted under the Panamera.

The second coming of the Panamera is expected for late 2016, but we’ll most likely see a concept next year. As for the actual production start, this should take place in 2017.

Video thumbnail


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories