Porsche is evaluating plans to launch a new sports saloon to sit below the Panamera in its range, according to company boss Matthias Muller.

With the launch of the new Macan SUV and its expected annual sales of 50,000 units, Porsche is on course to reach its stated sales goal of 200,000 units per year by 2015, some three years ahead of schedule.

The firm is now looking at further growth opportunities, one of which is a saloon to rival the likes of the Maserati Ghibli and higher-end versions of the BMW 5-series, Mercedes-Benz E-class and Jaguar XF. This saloon sector takes about one-third of all sales in the global market. 

“Speaking very frankly, I can say this is one of many ideas we have, to build a car below Panamera,” Muller told Autocar. “But it would be a difficult decision, because Porsche has just taken a huge step getting into the Macan market — not just developing the car but doubling the factory capacity, including the body shop and paint shop. It has been a huge effort for the whole company.

“You’ll have to wait and see. But every dollar we hold, we can spend only once. We can realise that idea, or another, or a third or fourth. We have many ideas.”

Talk of a saloon smaller than the Panamera, christened ‘Pajun’ (Panamera Junior), first emerged in 2012. It is understood that the project remains on the cards for production without actually being signed off yet, as Porsche evaluates factors such as its design, positioning, a factory, body styles and engines.

If the Pajun were to be signed off, most sources expect it to be built on the Volkswagen Group’s next-generation MSB platform. Porsche is developing this rear-wheel drive/all-wheel drive architecture for use under the next-gen Panamera. Nearly all future Bentleys, among other high-end VW Group models, will also use it.