Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

Firm and sensual avant-garde

"Prettier and more practical than the conventional Panamera."

"Only German car manufacturers are rulers of turning an actual model into a wide range of variants."

"Calm and comfortable interior can be enjoyed by five passengers, however the middle back seat should only be kept for an infant or short passenger."

"I'm in love with the V6 twin-turbo engine! It creates a prompt push with a persistent tweak," said Issam

It's been about eight years since the first Porsche Panamera was launched. It was unveiled at the 13th Auto Shanghai International Automobile Show in Shanghai, China, in April 2009, with a 2010 Model Year. I still remember we were all surprised when Porsche launched a four-door vehicle after the SUV. But eventually we got used to its exterior design, although we used to see it as an extended 911. The era has changed now. The Panamera is the third best-selling model for Porsche after the Cayenne and Macan.

Here I am, going back home in Canada and specifically to Victoria on Vancouver Island, to test drive a third new derivative from the Panamera, the Sport Turismo. Why a third variant? Well basically you have the Panamera, Panamera Executive with a longer wheelbase that is standard in the Chinese market, and now the Sport Turismo.

The Panamera Sport Turismo is marked by a unique rear section with a large tailgate, low loading edge, increased luggage compartment capacity and a 4+1 seat concept. In the Panamera Sport Turismo, Porsche uses high-torque and efficient six- and eight-cylinder turbo engines. With petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid drives, the five versions available deliver performance ranging from 330 horsepower to 550 horsepower. As standard, all Panamera Sport Turismo models feature all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management (PTM) and the eight-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK).

The Sport Turismo draws on all the technical innovations of the Panamera model line. These include the digital Porsche Advanced Cockpit, progressive assistance systems such as Porsche InnoDrive, including adaptive cruise control, chassis systems such as rear-axle steering and the electronic roll stabilization system, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport). Four of the five models also come with adaptive air suspension as standard. This is available as an option on the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo.

Exterior
Just like the coupe-style Panamera sports saloon, the Sport Turismo also boasts very dynamic proportions. It measures 5,049-mm in length with a wheelbase of 2,950-mm, and the body overhangs are equally short. The Sport Turismo also measures 1,937-mm in width and 1,428-mm in height (Turbo: 1,432-mm). Since it is wider and - despite its spacious interior - lower than rival luxury saloons in the segment, the large Porsche has an extremely sporty look thanks to its dimensions. The design team under the direction of Michael Mauer gave the Panamera Sport Turismo a completely individual design from the B-pillar back. Based on the Porsche Design DNA, this resulted in a vehicle that is just as charismatic and definitive as the sports saloon. The homogeneous individuality of both models is born of the fact that their design was developed in parallel. For a model with a large tailgate, the Panamera Sport Turismo is particularly characterized by noticeably powerful shoulders. Other features include the stretched roofline and striking window lines. At the rear, the roof drops away much less dramatically than the window line, resulting in sporty and unmistakeable D-pillars.

In the tailgate area, the roof transitions into an adaptive spoiler, which is a key component of the Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA). The angle of the roof spoiler is automatically raised to three positions depending on the driving situation and selected vehicle settings, and generates an additional downforce of up to 50 kilograms on the rear axle. Up to a speed of 170 km/h, the aerodynamic guide element reduces drag at an angle of minus seven degrees, thus optimizing fuel consumption. At speeds of over 170 km/h, the roof spoiler automatically slides into the "Performance" position, thus increasing driving stability and lateral dynamics at an angle of one degree. If the optional panoramic roof system is opened, the angle of the roof spoiler changes again - in this case to minimize wind noise.

Interior
The new Sport Turismo is the first-ever Panamera to feature three rear seats. The two outside seats take the form of individual seats - in keeping with the model line's claim for sporty performance with maximum passenger comfort - thereby producing a 2+1 configuration at the rear. As an option, the Panamera Sport Turismo is also available in a four-seat configuration just like the sports saloon with two electrically adjustable individual seats at the rear.

The longer and therefore raised roofline at the rear of the Sport Turismo allows for easier entry and exit of the vehicle and ensures even more head clearance. The practicality of the luggage compartment also benefits from the longer roofline; the wide opening, electrically operated tailgate as standard and a loading edge of just 63 centimeters are also beneficial. When loaded up to the upper edge of the rear seats, the Sport Turismo offers up to 520 liters of storage space, which is around 20 liters more than the sports saloon; the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo has a total volume of 425 liters. The rear seats can be folded down together or separately in a 40:20:40 configuration with electrically powered unlocking from the luggage compartment. Folding down all the backrests creates a virtually level loading floor. In this case, the storage volume is expanded to up to 1,390 liters when loaded to the roof (Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: 1,295 liters). This corresponds to an increase of 50 liters.

As an option, Porsche also offers a loadspace management system for the Panamera Sport Turismo. This versatile system for the secure transportation of the widest range of objects has several features, including two rails integrated in the loading floor, four lashing points and a luggage compartment partition net. A free optional extra is a storage package with a luggage net in the passenger footwell and two luggage nets in the luggage compartment. A retractable luggage compartment cover is fitted as standard to prevent passers-by from seeing into the luggage compartment. The luggage compartment is also available with an optional 230-volt electrical socket for charging electrical equipment during the journey. In the rear, two standard USB sockets allow smartphones and tablets to be charged.

Drivetrain
The Panamera Sport Turismo is already available to order in several countries. The official market launch in Europe is scheduled for autumn 2017, with the other markets following at the end of November. Porsche will start with five powertrain variants: the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo (330 hp), the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo (462 hp), the Panamera 4S Sport Turismo (440 hp) and the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo (550 hp).

Verdict
Many people will say that the Panamera Sport Turismo is a niche in the niche variant. But, I remember when the original Panamera was launched people were surprised and didn't accept the idea of a four-door sedan from a sports car manufacturer. The story will repeat itself. Let us give Porsche the time they need and they will prove once again that any variant they launch will make a success story. From my perspective, the Panamera Sport Turismo looks better than the conventional Panamera and is surely more practical than the Panamera for fairly extra bucks. Let us not forget that it's one of the scarce performance wagons on the market. The Panamera Sport Turismo is a well-intentioned vehicle in your garage with few rivals on the battleground.

Pros: Seats more than four people, brilliant cabin quality, fast and efficient E-Hybrid model
Cons: Rear storage little better than the Panamera Sedan, same front console as the Panamera Sedan
Rivals: Audi RS6 Wagon, Audi RS7 Sportback, Aston Martin Rapide S, Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 Shooting Brake, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Volvo V90 Cross Country
one word: sensual
4 stars

Specs
Panamera 4 Sport Turismo
2.9L, V6 turbo, 330 hp @ 5,250 - 6,500 rpm, 450 Nm @ 1,750 - 5,000 rpm
8-speed auto PDK, 4WD
0-100 km/h: 5.3-5.5 sec, top speed: 259 km/h, fuel consumption 7.9-7.8 L/100 km
Weight: 1,880 kg

Panamera 4S Sport Turismo
2.9L, V6 bi-turbo, 440 hp @ 5,650 - 6,600 rpm, 550 Nm @ 1,750 - 5,500 rpm
8-speed auto PDK, 4WD
0-100 km/h: 4.2-4.4 sec, top speed: 286 km/h, fuel consumption: 8.3 - 8.2 L/100 km
Weight: 1,915 kg

Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo
4.0L, V8 bi-turbo, 550 hp @ 5,750 - 6,000 rpm, 770 Nm @ 1,960 - 4,500 rpm
8-speed auto PDK, 4WD
0-100 km/h: 3.6-3.8 sec, top speed: 304 km/h, fuel consumption: 9.5 - 9.4 L/100 km
Weight: 2,035 kg

Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
2.9L, V6 bi-turbo, 462 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 700 Nm @ 1,100 - 4,500 rpm
Combustion engine
330 hp @ 5,250 - 6,500 rpm, 450 Nm @ 1,750 - 5,000 rpm
Electric motor
136 hp @ 2,800 rpm, 400 Nm 100 - 2,300 rpm
8-speed auto PDK, 4WD
0-100 km/h: 4.6 sec, top speed: 275 km/h, fuel consumption: 2.5 L/100 km
0-100 km/h (electric): 5.8 sec, top speed (electric): 140 km/h,
Weight: 2,190 kg

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