ATLANTA — Porsche once again is set to push the boundaries of what defines a Porsche.
The company — famed for its sports cars and, more recently, sporty crossovers — is developing a vehicle that is larger, longer and wider than the Cayenne midsize crossover, the brand's biggest nameplate now, according to U.S. dealers who were shown a rendering of the vehicle at a meeting here last week.
"It's a new style of vehicle that is part sedan, part crossover," said one dealer, describing it as having a "rakish" design.
A spokesman for Porsche Cars North America said the company will not comment or speculate on specific future models, but he said the automaker has become "very open in sharing ideas under an initiative — Porsche Unseen — the majority of which do not make it beyond the ideas stage" but serve as an inspiration.
"We are grateful for such creativity within our business, as we are continually exploring new opportunities and where we might compete in the future," the spokesman said. "Whether these go any further than renderings and ideas to make it to the production stage — let alone how they will be powered or configured — is undecided."
The new vehicle is slated to arrive in the second half of the decade and could offer three rows of seating — a first for a Porsche.
"It's very un-Porsche-like," another dealer familiar with the vehicle said. "It has a flat rear design; it's not anything like the Macan and Cayenne."
While Porsche did not disclose details of the vehicle's powertrain, dealers expect it to be a plug-in hybrid at launch. A full-electric vehicle could follow.
The new nameplate could be related to a flagship electric vehicle Volkswagen Group is said to be developing for Audi, Porsche and Bentley in Germany.
That vehicle, code-named Landjet, will roll off a new production line at VW Group's factory in Hanover, Germany, Handelsblatt reported late last year.
The three-row, seven-seat vehicle is being developed by Audi as part of its Artemis project to create and adopt new technologies for electric and highly automated automobiles under the VW Group.
The Landjet is expected to offer a range of 404 miles (650 km). It is not clear whether the production Landjet will be a sedan, a utility vehicle or a mix of both, according to the report.