Although the dust hasn't settled surrounding the trio of mid-engine sports cars planned by Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche, it seems the three organizations -- all part of the Volkswagen Group -- may have come to an agreement for a new platform, which will be developed and engineered largely by Porsche's staff.
Automobilwoche reports the new platform, dubbed Modular Standard Platform (or MSB, when using German initials), is a front-engine configuration that will accommodate both longitudinal and transverse engine installations. In theory, this platform could be used for a slew of products ranging from front-wheel-drive Volkswagens to rear-wheel-drive Porsches.
At this point, however, only three products have been tied to the platform. Reports suggest the MSB may underpin the next-generation Porsche Panamera, Cayenne SUV, and a new Bentley model. According to reports, VW believes the platform will put it years ahead of its competitors, and significantly decrease development costs and timeframes -- something it pledged to do when it assumed control of Porsche last year.
If reports are true, expect some improvement when it comes down to handling and dynamics. We've few qualms with the current Panamera, but Automobilwoche suggests the MSB platform will place the engine on or slightly aft of the front axle's axis, possibly helping to improve weight distribution.
Sounds great, but we're still hoping the three companies can come to a conclusion and agreement over the small mid-engine sports coupes under development. We're no experts in conflict resolution, but perhaps Porsche, VW, and Audi can use the MSB as a springboard for an agreement, and usher the 356, BlueSport roadster, and R4 into production sooner than later.