The next-generation Porsche Panamera is just one of a number of models in line to receive a new family of engines designed for the firm's advanced MSB platform. The platform is likely to be shared with Bentley from 2017.
“Porsche will have its own new V8 that will be common to the new MSB platform,” Porsche chief engineer Wolfgang Hatz revealed at the Geneva show. “It’s a family for the next 10 years of cars.”
Porsche developed its own V8 and V6 for the current Panamera and Cayenne, although at that time the company wasn’t a fully fledged part of the Volkswagen Group.
The new engines will be used in models built on the new MSB platform, of which Porsche is leading development. MSB will underpin sporty and luxurious front-engined models with both rear and four-wheel-drive, largely from Porsche and possibly Bentley.
However, Bentley has yet to commit to developing its next-gen Continental GT and Flying Spur models off the MSB programme. An alternative for Bentley might be Audi’s MLB structure, the longitudinal engine architecture which will be used to underpin the A4, A5, A6, A7 and A8.
The MSB platform will be engineered to meet high-speed performance criteria and include components in high-strength steel and lightweight aluminium, all of which is likely to attract Bentley
Porsche will use the MSB platform mainly for the next-gen Panamera, due on sale around 2017 and spied last year undergoing early chassis mule tests. However, MSB is being designed as a fully flexible modular architecture, which will allow alterations to wheelbase, track and seating position. This would permit low and sporty Porsches as well as taller, more formal Bentleys.
A two-door Panamera with hard and soft-top roofs has also yet to be signed off for production. However, Porsche has ‘package protected’ the model, which means the platform has been designed with these models in mind.