Porsche’s Panamera chooses the shooting brake route
VICTORIA, CANADA. – Whatever you do, don’t call it a station wagon.
Even though it has the extended roofline and tailgate profile you would recognise from a car built to carry things, Porsche is insisting that the Panamera Sport Turismo is simply a more versatile alternative to the luxury saloon.
In the process, it has carved out its only little niche within the niche, with almost no manufacturer offering a model with similar versatility, style and performance potential.
The Sport Turismo is pure Panamera from the front and up to the B pillar. But from there back, it has been restyled.
The resulting shape seems to suit the Panamera’s lines slightly better than the standard car: the proportions appear more convincing, and it is a very attractive machine when seen in profile, or from the rear.
The redesigned tailgate means easier loading, and the increased dimensions allow for 50 litres more space inside. The (slightly) improved utility has done nothing to impact on the Panamera’s luxurious and supremely comfortable interior, though: it’s still a brilliantly crafted cabin that offers good space and plenty of spec.
At the international launch of the Panamera Sport Turismo in Canada, we got the chance to drive the top-of-the-range Turbo model. The 4,0-litre V8 puts out 404 kW and 770 Nm, and is impressively strong off the line.
All-wheel drive grip helps the Sport Turismo maintain its composure even through tighter corners, and we found ourselves pushing the big car harder and harder as our route progressed.
It’s fitted with a catalogue of chassis and assistance systems – no doubt necessary to keep its two tons in check – but almost despite the car doing most of the work, it’s still an impressively enjoyable drive.
We’ll have a full report on the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid on RPM TV soon. – Spike Ballantine