This is our first look at the next-generation Porsche Panamera, due in 2016. At the minimally disguised front end it appears to be a case of evolution not revolution but, judging by the heavier camouflage at this prototype’s tail, there could be (slightly) broader changes afoot at the rear.
2016 Porsche Panamera: design
Designed by Michael Mauer and his styling team, Panamera Mk2 is, in a nutshell, a prettier evolution of the frumpy Mk1 car conceived under previous CEO, the radically reforming Wendelin Wiedeking.
There’ll be a bit more niche exploration this time around as, for the first time, the new Panamera will be available in three bodystyles: a five-door coupe, a stretched five-door long-wheelbase coupe, and a five-door SportTurismo shooting brake.
The latter sounds particularly intriguing. A thinking buyer’s alternative to the taller, heavier and less agile Cayenne?
What’s under the new Mk2 Panamera’s skin?
Internally codenamed G2, the new 2016 Panamera will be underpinned by Porsche’s state-of-the-art modular rear-wheel drive/all-wheel drive matrix, as will the smaller Pajun sports saloon (due in 2019).
According to our sources in Weissach, the new platform is significantly less expensive to produce as well as more flexible than that of the outgoing Panamera. What’s more, it’s being re-engineered so that diesel engines will at last be compatible with all-wheel drive.
In other drivetrain news, we would not be surprised if all new Porsche Panameras, including the GTS, were fitted with seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions – and an extra pair of cogs is likely to make it a nine-speeder by 2020 at the latest.
There’ll be hybrid Panameras too, no doubt?
Yep. Insiders expect a choice of two plug-ins, one using a petrol-fed V6 (with a 434bhp combined output), the other with a V6 diesel (366bhp total).
Both the new V6 and V8 engines are by Porsche’s own making. The rumour mill suggests a 2.9-litre V6 which delivers 420bhp, a 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 rated at 500bhp with all the stops pulled out, and a rorty 4.0-litre V8 good for up to 600bhp.
What else is in the pipeline for Porsche?
The spirit of the 928 could return in the shape of a pending four-seater GT. We’re told it’s been clinic-ed successfully in both coupe and cabriolet form.
Despite the mouth-watering return on investment, Porsche will probably peg these two-door models on the smaller Pajun, not the Panamera.