By Drew Johnson
Monday, Dec 24th, 2012 @ 11:35 am
 
Porsche is on the verge of green-lighting a new four-door, sub-Panamera model for production. Set to launch in 2017, the new model - known as the Pajun - will compete with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5-Series and the upcoming Maserati Ghibli.
Following more than a year of internal debate and feasibility studies, Porsche is nearly ready to sign off on the Pajun, according to an Autocar report. Like the larger Panamera, the Pajun will initially be offered as a sedan, but Porsche will also sell a more cargo-friendly shooting brake version of the car.

The Pajun is expected to ride on VW Group's new MSB platform, which will also underpin the next-gen Panamera in addition to a range of future Bentley models. The Porsche-developed architecture will support rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations and will likely use a mix of high-strength steel and aluminum components.

Previous reports have suggested that power for the Pajun will be provided by a six-cylinder gas engine, with three different power outputs on offer - 320 horsepower, 420 horsepower and 520 horsepower. A 313 horsepower six-cylinder diesel is also said to be in the works.

The Pajun is expected to launch as a sedan in 2017 with a starting price of about $85,000. A shooting brake version will follow a year after and will likely command a slightly higher price point.