The German automaker Volkswagen AG is now the proud owner of two legendary premium brands, Bentley and Porsche. The automaker says it will improve both the Porsche Panamera and the Bentley line, while also cutting corners. The automaker is making a retooled Panamera frame the standard platform for all of its future Bentley models.
Stretching a Euro with a Panamera frame
Volkswagen has owned Bentley since 1998, when it out-bid its rival BMW for control of the luxury marque. It also took over the prestigious Stuttgart based automaker Porsche in July of this year by accumulating 50.1 percent of its shares for 4.46 billion euros, or around $5.6 billion.
In light of the current European debt crisis, however, it probably comes as no surprise that the automaker would consider ways to stretch costs, while also establishing a common link between its two luxury brands.
Porsche-designed common chassis
The common chassis is being designed by engineers from Porsche, and will reportedly be a reworking of the Porsche Panamera platform. The chassis will handily accommodate both the rear wheel drive and all wheel drive formats. It will likely be made of a mix of steel and aluminum. That will help keep the weight down and thus further improve fuel efficiency.
All European automakers are required to meet the upcoming Euro 6 emission standards regulations, which will come into force in two years, on September 1, 2014.
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V12 trumps V8 in the future
Reportedly, Volkswagen also plans to phase out the long-running Bentley 6.75-litre L-series V8 engine to avoid the expensive re-tinkering it wpould require to meet those future Euro 6 demands. Instead, it will substitute an even more powerful V12 that already complies with those upcoming standards.
The final V8 driven model will likely be the upcoming Bentley Mulsanne Convertible. At this point, it only exists in sketch form, however, so hold off on consulting your auto loan calculators.
The Panamera frame will also shift that new engine in the Bentley closer to the rear of the axle line. That will better distribute the weight and likewise contribute to a more appealing fuel economy.
Speculation confirmed by announcement
According to AutoBlog, the announcement offers vindication to speculation going back as far as 2010 that Bentley and Porsche might collaborate and share the Panamera frame.