Following months of uncertainty, Volkswagen AG’s CEO Martin Winterkorn has told Porsche that it will be responsible for the lead development on sports cars and big luxury sedans for the group. The announcement comes after a debacle with Audi, whose executives and engineers had strongly wanted to play the lead role for those segments.
The comments by Winterkorn come after Porsche’s annual meeting on Nov. 30, which leads to the final steps of Porsche becoming the 10th brand in Volkswagen’s Group.
Volkswagen had originally wanted Porsche to use Volkswagen developed sports car architectures for the Stuttgart automaker’s sports cars like the 911. However, Porsche engineers objected to the idea saying that Volkswagen’s underpinning may not be stiff enough to handle the renowned handling of Porsche sports cars.
Porsche will develop a “modular standard matrix” that will underpin the Porsche Panamera and future Bentley vehicles. The company will also be responsible for building a platform for front-mid and rear-mid engine vehicles for Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini.
Refresher: The $89,800 Porsche Panamera S is powered by a 400-hp V8 allowing for a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 175 mph. The $93,800 Panamera 4S is powered by the same 400-hp V8. The $132,600 Porsche Panamera Turbo is powered by a turbocharged V8 making 500-hp allowing for a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds with a top speed of 188 mph. The Porsche Panamera V6 and Porsche Panamera 4 are powered by a 3.6L V6 engine making 300-hp and a peak torque of 295 lb-ft. Prices start at $74,400 for the base V6 Panamera and $78,900 for the V6 Panamera 4.
2011 Porsche Panamera:
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)