Porsche’s anticipated fourth model line has a name: Panamera. Registered by Porsche at the same time as the Cayman moniker it is applying to the upcoming Boxster-based coupe, the new name is expected to grace a concept version of the car, which insiders describe as a combination of coupe and sedan, at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
Due out in 2008, the Panamera has been conceived as successor to the 928. Designed with space for four adults, it is also tipped to come clothed in a four-door body in a move that will pitch it into direct competition with cars like the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Maserati Quattroporte.
Secrecy surrounds the mechanical basis for the new car, though the Stuttgart rumor mill suggests Porsche chairman Wendelin Wiedeking has forged links with Volkswagen on a new rear-wheel-drive platform program in a move similar to that undertaken with the Cayenne and Touareg. Volkswagen chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder is interested in adding a new rear-wheel-drive model to the Volkswagen lineup between the Passat and Phaeton, and after the recent breakdown in talks with Maserati, it seems additional cooperation with Porsche may be in the cards.
Power for the new car is set to come from the same 4.5-liter V8 engines as those offered on the Cayenne. They include a naturally aspirated version with 340 hp and a turbo_charged unit with 450 hp. An even more powerful model with more than 500 hp is also in the pipeline. Up to 20,000 examples of the Panamera are expected to roll annually from Porsche’s Leipzig factory in Germany, where it will be produced alongside the Cayenne.