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It’s been some time since we last spotted the next-generation Porsche Panamera but one can rest assured knowing that progress is being made at Zuffenhausen. As evidence, our European spy photographers have captured a prototype of said car running about on the road with lesser camouflage than before.

The centre of attention (for the wrong reason) of the current Panamera is, arguably, its rear end whereby several quarters have claimed to be rather ungainly in terms of its presentation. Now, we can deduce that Porsche has indeed learned its lesson with the prototype sporting a much more coherent rear end design.

A slopping roofline coupled to wider rear arches and the familiar-looking 3D taillights further hint at the good things we can expect from the new Porsche Panamera. Not much has changed in front, though – the car appears to have retained its slightly bulbous look. Expect a redesigned headlight design with singular-point LEDs arranged to make up the daytime running lights on the new car.

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Taking a closer look reveals the rather comically-covered C-pillar, of which we can only deduce that Porsche is planning to keep under wraps for a little while longer. Could it be one of the more significant changes to the car? Under the skin, however, changes are expected to be a little more drastic.

The next-gen Panamera should ride atop a variation of the Volkswagen Group’s MSB platform – as a result, a drop in weight of up to 91 kg has been mooted. New engines are expected to feature as well with a range of V6 and V8 mills being touted. Also on the cards are all-wheel drive capabilities and semi-autonomous driving. No official word on when it will enjoy its debut but word on the vine indicates a Geneva showing.

GALLERY: Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid driven in Singapore