Set to make its public debut at next week’s Geneva motor show, the new sporty estate brings an added degree of practicality to the second-generation Panamera line-up with a new four-plus-one seating layout, a large electronically operated tailgate, a significantly lower loading lip and an extra 20 litres of boot space.
The new Panamera model was granted a production green-light by former Porsche chairman Matthias Müller following a positive reaction to the earlier Sport Turismo concept car unveiled at the 2012 Paris motor show.
Five years on, the first official photographs of the production version of the Sport Turismo reveal it holds true to the appearance of the earlier concept, with a uniquely styled rear end that helps to provide the Panamera with greater interior flexibility and load space in a move Porsche hopes will see it win over buyers who may have otherwise opted for a more conventional estate from rival car makers.
Credit for the styling of the new Porsche model goes to Mitja Borkert, who also penned the company’s all-electric Mission E concept and is now head of design at Lamborghini.
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The visual differences between the standard Panamera and the new Panamera Sport Turismo begin at the B-pillars, with a longer roof that extending backwards with less rake. The rear doors have also been modified to accommodate a larger glass area. The D-pillar is appreciably more upright, while the rear fenders have been modified accordingly.
At the rear, the new tailgate retains the same width as the liftback appendage used by the standard Panamera but owning to its increased height it offers a much larger loading aperture. The loading lip is also set lower, at bumper level, to ease the loading of heavy items.
A complex active spoiler element mounted atop the tailgate at the rear serves to enhance the new estate’s aerodynamic properties. It deploys in three stages depending on speed and/or driving mode, generating additional downforce of up to 50kg at the rear axle.
At speeds of up to 106mph, the spoiler remains in its retracted position with an angle of minus seven degrees, reducing overall drag and enhancing fuel economy. Above 106mph, the spoiler is automatically set in a so-called performance position with an angle of 1deg. When the driver chooses Sport or Sport Plus driving modes, the spoiler deploys into the performance position at a speed of 56mph.
When the Sport Turismo’s optional panoramic sliding roof is opened, the spoiler is automatically set to a position of 26 degrees to help minimise wind noise.
“The Panamera Sport Turismo is a step forwards into a new market segment, but it retains all of the values and attributes characteristic of Porsche,” says Michael Mauer, head of Porsche’s design operations.
At 5049mm in length, 1937mm in width and 1428mm in height, the Sport Turismo is same length and width but 5mm higher than the second-generation Panamera liftback. It also rides on the same 2950mm wheelbase as its established sibling.
The Sport Turismo is the first Panamera model offer seating for up to three in the rear, rather than just two as with the liftback. The two full-sized individual rear outer seats are accompanied by a narrow and raised central rear seat, boosting overall accommodation to five. The central rear seat is, however, compromised for leg space owing to the central tunnel running down the centre of the floorpan and really only designed to accommodate children.
Nevertheless, Porsche claims the added 5mm of roof height and less tumble home to the rear of the glasshouse not only provides for improved entry and exit to the rear over the liftback but also makes for greater head room for those seated in the rear.
Boot capacity is 520 litres, bigger than all other Panameras, the E-Hybrid Sport Turismo at 425 litres, and 20 litres more load capacity than the standard liftback. The backrests of the rear seats can automatically be folded down in a 40:20:40 configuration to extend overall load capacity to 1390 litres.
A so-called luggage compartment management system is among a long list of options available for the new Porsche model. It uses two rails integrated into the floor of the boot, four lashing points and a partition net to secure items.
At launch, the Panamera Sport Turismo will be offered in five different model variants: the Panamera 4, Panamera 4S, Panamera 4S Diesel, Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Panamera Turbo – all of which are planned to be on display at the Geneva motor show, which opens its doors to the public on 8 March.
Among the petrol powered models is the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, which runs a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine with 325bhp, while the Panamera 4S Sport Turismo receives a slightly smaller capacity twin-turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 powerplant producing 404bhp. Crowing the initial line-up is the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 delivering 542bhp.
Porsche chairman Oliver Blume said "The Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo is a car that will take you to Nürburgring in the morning, the Eiffel mountains in the afternoon and home on the Autobahn with no problems at all. You can have a three-seat configuration in a Panamera for the first time in a 2+1 set-up."
The sole diesel model at launch is the Panamera 4S Diesel Sport Turismo, which receives a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine with 416bhp. It is joined by the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, whose driveline combines a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine with 325bhp and an electric motor mounted within the front section of the gearbox with 134bhp for an overall system output of 456bhp.
UK pricing for the Panamera Sport Turismo is yet to be announced, although Porsche confirms it will start at €97,557 for the the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo and extend to €158,604 for the initial range topping Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo in Germany.