We really, really hope so.
We don’t want to jump the gun or anything, but what you’re looking at is definitely the spiritual successor to the Porsche 928 as captured by our spy photographers. Wait, that’s jumping the gun? OK, we’ll hedge just a bit here and say that this sportier Porsche four-door looks like it could be a revived 928 but that we’re no entirely sure just yet. Our spy photogs report that this car was wearing Porsche-registered plates. This is important as the new Panamera is also serving as a test bed for the new Bentley Continental GT.
A Panamera was previously seen in the UK but had on Bentley plates. As this one is wearing Porsche plates it’s fair to speculate that the German automaker is up to something, and what that something is appears to be a slicker version of its oddly shaped four-door sedan. Now the new Panamera seems destined to spawn a variety of body types, including a wagon. This test mule is riding on a shortened version of the Modular Standard Platform (MSB in German). The 928 was a two-door, but it’s hard for us to imagine Porsche offering its new Panamera in this guise. The Panamera and 911 are two very different cars but it may not be smart for Porsche to offer two coupes with backseats in around (ish) the same price bracket.
Of course this could be a brilliant double dip strategy, with both cars selling like hot cakes as potential 911 buyers opt for a big V8 up front and plusher ride. But what if Porsche kept the four-door look and offered the Panamera as a sort of gran coupe? It already looks pretty damn sporty on this shortened wheelbase and with its 911-esque styling. At this point the automaker basically has a license to print money so whatever direction it goes—a four-door or true 928 successor—will likely sell well. The enthusiast side of us hopes that Porsche drops a V8 up front (sending power to the rear wheels) and axes the two rear doors. But we’d probably be just as happy with a four-door equipped with AWD as well. Hopefully it'll still have a killer Nurburgring time.