Porsche 5 Series fighter may be electric

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We know that Porsche is developing a seventh model range for its lineup thanks to the March announcement from company boss Matthias Müller. The actual identity of this future vehicle remains a mystery, though. Autocar is coming down firmly on the side of the smaller Panamera, codenamed the Pajun, and speculates the new entry might be available in battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell versions based on recent patent filings.

Porsche is famous for sticking with the rear-engine layout on the 911 for decades, even as the company moves the powertrain forward in other models. According to Autocar, the EV version of the Pajun might mark a return to these roots. The German brand is reportedly preparing a modified version of Volkswagen Group's MSB platform for the new vehicle. Called eMSB, the setup puts the batteries and electric motors at the back, and each rear wheel would receive power separately to allow for torque vectoring. The system is estimated to generate 420 horsepower, which is on par with the all-wheel-drive Tesla Model S 85D. The fuel cell Pajun would join the lineup later.

The Pajun is rumored to take on the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but any luxury EV of that size must count the Tesla Model S as a competitor, too. According to Autocar, the styling takes cues from the Panamera Sport Turismo concept (pictured above) and could launch around 2018.

Rumors of Porsche's Tesla-fighter were swirling for months before Müller's announcement, and talk of the Pajun has gone on even longer. Previous reports have suggested the possibility of a 300-mile range and an all-wheel-drive layout with 600 hp. While the actual design has remained ambiguous beyond the potential link to the Panamera, the model was possibly spied last year at the Porsche Design Tower in Florida.

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