Seen here undergoing cold-weather testing in icy Sweden, the lightly camouflaged Panamera prototype shows off the sleeker lines of the second-generation luxury five-door grand tourer, which is expected to launch towards the end of next year.
The German sports car maker’s designers have been hard at work fixing the styling “mistakes” – as Porsche CEO Matthias Muller described them in October – on the original Panamera, focusing particularly on creating a ‘faster’ roofline and improving the interior.
The spy images confirm they’ve succeeded at the former goal, with the Panamera test car’s roofline significantly less bulbous and more coupe-like than its predecessor’s.
The front and rear overhangs and overall length appear similar to the current model, though a lower bonnet, more heavily raked windscreen, tighter panel lines and more pronounced hips create a more trim, athletic profile.
The 2016 Porsche Panamera’s new Volkswagen Group MSB platform and body will also be lighter than the current car’s, borrowing know-how gained in the development of the 991-series 911 to incorporate lightweight and high-strength aluminium, magnesium and other steels.
The result should be a lighter overall vehicle mass, though the introduction of additional standard equipment is expected to keep the kilogram savings beneath triple figures.
V6 and V8 petrol engines are likely to be offered along with V6 diesel and plug-in/hybrid powertrains, while a new dual-clutch PDK automatic transmission has also been rumoured to make its way under the Panamera’s bonnet to drive the rear wheels or all four.
A late-2016 international launch for the initial members of the second-generation Panamera should see the new model reach Australian showrooms by the early stages of 2017.
Pricing for the new Panamera should largely match that of the current line-up, which range from $204,600 to $444,600 plus on-road costs.
Click the Photos tab for more images of the 2016 Porsche Panamera.