Can it survive alongside the Taycan?
The Porsche Taycan has consumed a lot of news lately, especially compared to the automaker's original sedan, the Panamera. The difference between the two is significant despite both having rear doors. The Porsche Panamera remains combustion-powered, though a plug-in hybrid setup is optional, while the Taycan is purely battery-electric. That basic bit of knowledge aside, many might be wondering whether the Panamera still has a future. After all, won't the Taycan eventually take its place in the lineup? Perhaps not.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume told Autocar a third-generation Panamera could happen sometime after 2024 for one very good reason: "The Panamera is one step higher than the Taycan." Both the hatchback and Sport Turismo body styles are larger than the Taycan and Taycan Cross Turismo, and this creates an opening for a larger and all-electric flagship.
Blume did admit one or both of the Panamera models will need to undergo some changes in order to avoid competition with the brand's highly profitable crossovers.
"For Porsche, we are counting on five topics for differentiation: high quality, Porsche-typical design, Porsche-typical performance, fast charging (where Porsche is much better than the competition because of its 800V system) and the driving experience. These five pillars are very important for future differentiation," he explained. "We do compare to the competition, and when we bring a future Taycan and Panamera, there will be differentiation between them in the C- and D-segment."
We'd also note that Porsche and Audi are working together to develop what's called the flexible PPE platform that will underpin the all-electric Macan, due sometime next year, and the rumored Audi Q6 e-tron.
The current Panamera generation, launched in 2017, just received a significant refresh last year so it's in good shape for a little while longer. Porsche aims to have 80 percent of its global sales be electrified by 2030 and having the Panamera be included in that makes smart business sense. The remaining 20 percent is expected to be limited to sports cars, specifically the 911. Porsche remains adamant it'll be the last of its models to fully embrace electrification.
For now, a market still exists for a combustion-powered Panamera, but given the Taycan's excellent sales so far, it stands to reason serious discussions are taking place about the next Panamera's propulsion systems.