• Porsche Hints That its MSB Platform Could Underpin Panamera Coupe and Audi A9 Coupe

    Audi has revealed yet another high-tech concept, this time at the 2015 Cosumer Electronics Show.

The A9 could be a badge-engineered Panamera or it could be so much more...

Porsche nearly broke the internet when the second-gen Panamera made its long-awaited debut. Outside of fresh styling inside and out, it was also supported by Porsche’s new MSB platform. This platform will go on to provide the basic skeleton for the upcoming Panamera Wagon (currently dubbed “Sport Turismo”) and a Panamera Coupe that is set to arrive as a spiritual successor to the Porsche 928. But, that’s not all. The Panamera coupe should eventually spawn a Panamera Convertible that will also use the MSB platform. The Coupe and Convertible will be big sellers here in the U.S. since we love our fast, two-door and convertible models. The plot is still thickening, though, as Michael Steiner – a Member of the Executive Board of Research and Development for Porsche – told Car Advice that the MSB platform will be used in a model outside of Porsches lineup.

Speaking to Car Advice at the Paris Motor Show, Steiner didn’t release too many details at all, but when asked about the Audi A9, he did say “At least one additional brand from the Volkswagen Group will use this MSB platform for their models, so if you would like to know more about their plans, you could ask them.” He continued, “I don’t think it’s fair to talk too much about your brother.”

So, while it has yet to be officially confirmed, this subtle hint tells us that the A9 will likely use the same MSB platform found in the Panamera. It will obviously sit above the A8 and should be offered in Coupe and Sedan forms. Of course, he may not be talking about the Audi at all, considering Bentley is said to be working on a production variant of the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept that will also use the MSB platform. That vehicle hasn’t been given the green light for production, but If it does, it will also share the MSB DNA with the A9 and Panamera Coupes.

Why it Matters

Not that long ago, we reported that the Audi A9 e-Tron had been greenlighted for production, which would ultimately compete against the likes of the Tesla Model S. While that model is expected to share DNA from the Q6 e-Tron, maybe even the motors, it should have a full range of about 311 miles. With the MSB platform underpinning the fuel-drinking A9 models, the engine options are practically unlimited thanks to the MSB’s modular nature. Audi is likely to give the A9 its own look, but under the skin, it would be practically identical to the Panamera. It could use the 2.9-liter V-6 found in the Panamera 4S or even the 4.0-liter V-8 found in the Panamera Turbo. The 4S delivers 440 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque while the Panamera Turbo delivers 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque.

Considering the A9 will (obviously) sit above the A8, it makes complete sense for Audi to borrow the drivetrain options from the Panamera. The current A9 delivers just 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque from a 3.0-liter or 435 horsepower and 444 pound-feet from a 4.0-liter V-8. If the entry-level A9 came with the Panamera’s 2.9-liter, it would have 5 horsepower more than the range-topping A8. When equipped with the Panamera’s 4.0-liter V-8, it would have 106 horsepower more than the range-topping A8. This would be the extra power bump needed to give the A9 a nice, welcome home above the A8, and would be enough to entice customers to go with the slightly larger A9. Furthermore, there will likely be an S9 and RS9 that could deliver even more power, but it’s way too early to talk about all of that just yet. What do you think about all of this? Will the A9 just be a badge-engineered Panamera or will Audi do it right? Let us know in the comments section below.

2019 Porsche Panamera Coupe

2019 Porsche Panamera Coupe
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Read our full review on the 2019 Porsche Panamera Coupe here.

2015 Audi A9

2015 Audi A9 Exterior
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Audi A9 Concept

Read our full review on the 2015 Audi A9 here.

Source: Car Advice

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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