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Panamera styling: We must do better!

Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller has admitted the exterior and interior styling of the second generation Panamera luxury car needs to improve compared to the current car.

“There have been some small mistakes and we will do it better,” Müller told Australia’s Motoring when asked what the next Panamera will be like. “For example the design could be better,” added the executive, who also said the interior must be improved.

Porsche’s styling boss Michael Mauer was in charge of the first-generation Panamera and will oversee the design of its successor as well. He says the next-gen Panamera will look better, although some people may still not like it. “I am sure a lot of people won’t like the design of the next generation. And that’s fine by me. I would prefer to have cars and products that polarize rather than being just okay. I think that’s the worst thing for a product. And the new Panamera I am sure there will still be people that don’t like it,” Mauer said.

The original Panamera luxury lift back was Mauer's first project when he took over Porsche design in 2004. Launched in 2009, its attempt to marry some elements of the iconic 911 sports car's look with a low, wide and long five-door body has drawn plenty of criticism.

"There have been some small mistakes and we will do it better," Mueller promised when asked what we could expect from the next Panamera.

Mueller also said he expected the new car to be "as successful as the first generation", a reference to the more than 100,000 examples sold.

That sales performance was something Mauer used to defend the looks of the current Panamera.

"From what I hear from our sales and marketing guys, the Panamera is pretty successful. For a company and for a brand that entered this segment for the first time where you have S-class, Audis, BMWs, really well established brands... I think we have enormous success with the car.

"And I believe as well since the design and the package of the car some people don't like it, but people who do like it, they like it really."

Mauer said he hoped more people would like the Panamera's styling in the future, but also wanted it to continue to divide opinion.

"But we have addressed certain things and I think it is more attractive, but if as a designer I was to tell you the successor generation doesn't look as good as the old one then most likely I should look for another job."

While refusing to speak in detail, Mauer did reveal the next Panamera would have an even "faster" – or more coupe-like – roofline than its predecessor. He said that was essential to the styling theme of the car being retained.

However, as we have reported previously, the philosophy of the architecture is similar to the current carArticle Search, which means the basic footprint and interior roominess of the four-seater will not be changed.

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