Short Wheelbase Porsche Panamera Caught Testing?

Next Generation Panamera testing.  Is this a test mule for the 928?

Engineers in Stuttgart are busy preparing the new 2016 Porsche Panamera for launch next year – and our spy photographers have caught new photos of a prototype that’s dropped some of its camo. That gives us a clearer look at a car that appears altogether sleeker and more attractively proportioned than its predecessor, with 3D-effect tail-lights like those of the freshly facelifted 991.

Next generation Porsche Panamera: the details

Codenamed G2, the new Panamera is the follow-up to the first-generation sports sedan that has been a big seller for Porsche. The test mule, built upon a modular standard platform, or MSB in German is the rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive platform designed to be shared between some luxury vehicles across the Volkswagen family of vehicles.  For instance, this same platform is intended to underly the next generation Bentley Continental range of vehicles due next year.  It may also power the second generation Bentley Mulsanne earmarked for 2020.

An indicator of the flexibility of the MSB platform, it is also planned to underly the upcoming Pajun or Panamera Junior.  This vehicle has been pushed back to 2019.

Different versions of the Panamera are forthcoming

For the first time, the new Panamera will be available in three body styles: five-door coupe, five-door long-wheelbase coupe and a five-door station wagon that was first shown as a the Gran Turismo concept car in 2012.

Still pending is a four-seater GT of the Panamera along the lines of the Porsche 928.  Such a model was been tested successfully by Porsche product planners.  A convertible version of the Panamera is also rumored.  This will be most likely be based on the four seat GT.

Although still heavily camouflaged, the fake front headlight graphics are a nice touch.  The second generation Panamera is said to have a ‘less contraversial’ design that the current Panamera.  The upcoming Panamera wagon should be a compelling blend of practicality and performance.

Engineering, spec of new Panamera

BMW, like Porsche are looking to share platforms across their lineup.  In the case of Volkswagen, it is across brands of vehicles.

By sharing platforms across models or families of brands as is the case with Volkswagen, is significantly less expensive to produce than the way things are currently being done.  By taking this approach, the next generation Panamera is being reengineered so that a given vehicle will be compatible across drivetrains.  For example, a rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicle will couple with a diesel, gasoline, or hybrid powertrain will fit into the same vehicle structure, frame or platform.

Yes, you read that right, hybrids.  Insiders are expecting a choice of two plugin hybrids, one featuring a gasoline powered V6 engine having a combined output of 434 horsepower and the second, boasting a diesel powered V6 with a combined output of 366 horsepower.  It is interesting to note that the test mule pictured has two twin ‘fuel caps’.  Could this be a hybrid being tested?  One ‘door’ for electricity and the second ‘door’ for either gasoline or diesel fuel.

Regarding powerplants for the next generation Panamera, rumors are suggesting a 2.9-liter V6 delivering 420bhp, a 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 rated at 500bhp, and at the pinnacle of the line up, a sporty 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 good for up to 600 horsepower.

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