Engineers in Stuttgart are busy preparing the new 2016Porsche 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.
We’ve photographed an earlier halfway-house Panamera test mule (the pictures in brighter sunshine in this story’s gallery) but these latest snaps show a car that appears not only more production ready, but more compact in size too.
2016 Porsche Panamera: the details
Codenamed G2, the new Panamera is the follow-up to the first-gen sports saloon, and one which will be more closely related to its group siblings.
So its MSB components set (the rear- and all-wheel drive platform underpinning the new Panamera) is also destined to power the next Bentley Continental range (expected in late 2017) and still-tentative second-generation Mulsanne earmarked for 2020.
Intriguingly, it is also pencilled in for the small sports saloon, aka the Pajun for Panamera Junior. This project has been pushed back to 2019.
Short- and long-wheelbase versions to come
For the first time, the new Panamera will be available in three bodystyles: five-door coupe, five-door long-wheelbase coupe and a five-door SportTurismo shooting brake previewed by 2012’s concept car.
Still pending is a four-seater GT along the lines of the Porsche 928, which has been ‘clinicked’ successfully. And we hear that the company is even considering a convertible Panamera too.
Although it’s still heavily disguised – check out those fake lamp graphics! – the G2 Panamera is said to be prettier than the ugly MkI Panamera; the SportTurismo in particular should be a compelling blend of practicality and sportiness (see 2012 concept below).
Engineering, spec of new Panamera
According to our source in Weissach, MSB is signicifantly less expensive to produce as well as more flexible than the earlier Panam platform. G2 is being re-engineered so that diesel engines will at last be compatible with 4wd, an improvement which applies to the uprated 381bhp V6 and to the 422bhp V8 oil-burners. We would not be surprised if all Panameras, including the GTS, were fitted with seven-speed twin-clutch DCT gearboxes which should gain two extra gears by 2020 at the latest.
Hybrids? Insiders expect a choice of two plug-ins, one featuring a petrol-fed V6 (434bhp combined output), the other one boasting a V6 diesel (366bhp combined output). The car pictured in our spyshots is a hybrid, as witnessed by its twin ‘fuel caps’ – one for an electric lead and one for inserting unleaded.
And the rumour mill is suggesting 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.
Click here to see what happened when we long-term tested the Porsche Panamera GTS.