According to sources, Porsche has confirmed that it is working on a direct rival for BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E Class after a year of research debate and arguments.
If the project gets the green signal, it will be first time that a Porsche will be entering mainstream market segment, which is a premium segment currently being dominated by the three big Germans. If all went well then it is possible that the model will be reaching the market by 2016. But it is also considered as a part of Porsche’s plan to sell 200,000 units by 2018.
Porsche’s styling chief, Michael Mauer was heard quoting that the road car smaller than the Panamera was a possibility. It was thought that Mauer’s team was recently working on various models similar to 5 series concept.
Most of the speculation is behind the shortened Panamera or Panjun (nick name taken from Panamera Junior). It ought to be a 5 door fastback like its big bro. Another Mercedes CLS styled sports wagon is also on the papers, with the 2 door coupe scheduled for next decade. A rumor is also there about the V8 and 4 cylinder engines being ruled out.
Most of the industry’s experts believe that the Pajun would be based on the VW’s MSB platform. Porsche is working hard on this rear wheel and all wheel drive architecture for a long time to be used in the next gen Panamera, in all future Bentleys and among other higher end VW group models.
Porsche can also use Audi’s next gen mixed material MLB architecture which is also behind its Macan SUV along with the future Audi models from A4 to A7.
MLB is actually a front wheel drive platform, so all versions of the MLB based Pajun should be all wheel drive as a front wheel drive Porsche is quite unthinkable.
According from the reports from the Credit Suisse and HIS auto analysts, the global market for the E-segment car that includes 5 series, Audi A6 and E-class will be around 970,000. The figure is expected to see a rise until 2017 to about 1.3 million units by end of 2019. So, a new rising market segment for Porsche.
The market segment also assures of huge profit margin but is not as profitable per unit as the market for the big premium SUVs, although sales volumes are much higher. This huge sales volume has also made Maserati to enter into this market with its new Ghibli.
It is quite interesting to see that most of the premium brands are looking towards the premium segment dominated by the 5 series, A6 and E-Class. These models themselves accounts for about 70 percent of the global sales in this segment.
According to the George Galliers from Credit Suisse, the premium E-segment is underperforming when it is compared with the other premium segments.
He said that they believe that it is because of the ongoing trend and a shift towards the premium utility vehicles. He further added that the growth opportunity in the segment is likely to arrive from the several comparable products which certainly is not restricted to the traditional three box saloon that currently dominates the segment. This is the opportunity that Porsche is also trying to cash in with its products.
There are many speculations that suggest that Porsche might go for a vehicle that would offer a hatchback like configuration like its Panamera rather than the conventional 3 box saloon.