The Porsche Panamera family is to grow in more ways than one, with a long-wheelbase version of the new sports saloon set to join the range. The long-wheelbase car is built with China in mind, although the model will also go on sale in Europe.
Robert Kohr, manager of body engineering for the Panamera, told that the new MSB modular platform that underpins the next-generation Panamera (seen in our pictures) can be stretched to produce a long-wheelbase version.
“It will come very soon, as it’s very important for markets like China. The platform is capable of supporting four wheelbases, with the Panamera and Panamera Long on the shortest two.”
Kohr pointed out that Porsche has no plans to use the two longer wheelbases, but it’s likely that we’ll see them in use on longer versions of the Bentley Continental and other VW Group products, which will also use the MSB platform.
An extra 150mm will be added to the wheelbase of the longer Panamera, increasing it from 2,950mm to 3,100mm – and the main focus will be on increasing rear passenger space. The LWB Panamera is likely to arrive at the end of this year, with the same set of engines that we’ve already seen in the standard saloon: a V8 diesel, plus twin-turbo V6 and V8 petrols.
Plug-in hybrid editions are also in the pipeline, with the PDK gearbox in all models compatible with the electric motor required.
There are no official details on the hybrid versions of the Panamera yet, although hints from Porsche insiders indicate that performance will play an important role, suggesting that a powerful V8 hybrid is on the cards.