Porsche is developing a long wheelbase version of the Panamera in a bid to satisfy demand for greater rear seat legroom from customers in North America and China.
Insiders at the company's Weissach-based research and development headquarters located on the outskirts of Stuttgart in Germany have indicated to Autocar the 2920mm wheelbase of today's Panamera will be extended by almost 120mm inches, taking it up to something in the region of 3040mm.
By comparison, the long wheelbase version of the Mercedes-Benz S-class boasts a 3165mm wheelbase. All of the added length is set to be incorporated in a longer rear door and larger rear door aperture - a move that will also rectify one of the Porsche’s weaknesses by providing improved rear seat access.
The stretched version of the four-door Porsche is planned to go on sale in 2012, coinciding with a planned facelift of the existing standard wheelbase model. Before the long wheelbase version of the Panamera arrives Porsche will be kept busy with the launch of petrol-electric hybrid and diesel versions of the big liftback.
Meanwhile, plans for four seat convertible and shooting brake versions of the Panamera have been placed on hold. “We’ve decided to wait until the second-generation model before adding alternative bodystyles,” a high ranking Porsche official told Autocar “We’re already flat out meeting demand for a single bodystyle as it is.”