Porsche Plans Electric Competitor For BMW 5 Series
Porsche is currently working on a new four-door that will offer both hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain options. The car will incorporate a revised structure based on the future eMSB architecture, which will also be used for upcoming Bentley models and the new Panamera. It’s known internally as the Pajun, or “Panamera Junior,” and is slated to compete with the BMW 5 Series at the upper end of the mid-size sedan market. Speculation places its arrival sometime between late 2017 and early 2018.
The news was revealed by a series of patents filed in Germany, China, and the U.S., as analyzed by the UK-based publication Autocar. Ulrich Hackenberg, who’s responsible for technical development at Volkswagen Group, also dropped tantalizing hints at a press conference prior to Volkswagen’s annual conference in March.
Exact specifications are sparse, but it’s believed the new electric Porsche will bring with it at least 420 horsepower and a 265-mile range, making it a direct competitor to Tesla. It’s also speculated that the battery-powered version will be called the 718, while the fuel-cell model will be designated the 818.
Autocar says an examination of the patents reveal that Porsche has re-engineered the MSB platform to incorporate the new drivetrain into the rear of the structure itself, improving rigidity and rear-impact crash-worthiness. It’s similar to the design used in the 2016 Audi R8 e-tron, and would retain an independent rear suspension and utilize a single electric motor for each rear drive wheel, offering torque vectoring for improved cornering abilities. The package will be mounted low, which also means the car should have some space for storage in the back.
Continue reading to learn more about Porsche’s future electric sedan.
Why it matters
As the inevitable march toward more and more electrification continues, it appears as though Volkswagen wants to expand its EV offerings substantially. The Pajun has been in the works for quite some time now, with info seesawing between speculation and denial, but with this latest report, it appears to be inching towards a reality. When it comes to electric power, the Pajun would join Porsche’s plug-in versions of the Cayenne and Panamera, and don’t forget the atmospheric performance of the 918 Spyder.
Of course, we can pin the motivation behind these developments on the popularity of EVs in China and in the western U.S., and odds are we’ll be seeing further expansion in the future. For example, Porsche is developing its own inductive charging system that’ll allow for easy battery refills without the use of cables.
The Panamera may not be the most beautiful thing to come from Stuttgart, but it is one of the most profitable. First released in 2009, this four-door luxury sport fastback has its engine mounted up front, an uncommon trait with Porsche, and either RWD or AWD. A variety of engine options are available, including a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, 250-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, and a top-range twin-turbo 4.8-liter V-8 making 550 horsepower. Transmissions include a ZF-sourced seven-speed PDK, six-speed manual, and Aisin-sourced eight-speed automatic. The Panamera S Hybrid was first unveiled in 2011, and has a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 mated to a single electric motor for a combined output of 375 horsepower.
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