Think shooting brake then, a more, dreadful as its sounds, ‘lifestyle’ spin on the Panamera. Or simply just think of it as a more alluring Panamera shape. Its form arguably works more convincingly with contrasting standard dark, rather than the optional Sport Design body-coloured elements that are fixed to the sides, front and rear here. Leave it standard and the rear looks less buxom and the flanks slimmer. As with its conventional hatchback relation you’ll need the optional 20-inch wheels, or even better the 21-inch ones to fill those wheelarches convincingly.
What is impressive is all that extra Sport Turismo bodywork only sees weight rise by 20kg. In this, the heaviest of the Panamera Sport Turismos that means a not insubstantial unladen DIN weight of 2,190kg (unladen weight EC - 2,265kg). You only need to have to have put some cells in a Tamiya RC car as a kid to understand where the extra 275kg over the non-hybrid Panamera 4S comes from.
We’ve driven this powertrain before, and there are elements of it that genuinely impress. Glide off using E-Power mode on batteries and 134bhp electric motor alone and it’s quick and quiet, perfect for town driving. Thanks to an 87mph electricity alone top speed and respectable range it doesn’t feel confined by the city, either. The 31 miles of promised range is unlikely in all but perfect conditions, but use E-Hybrid mode and it’ll only fire up the 2.9-litre V6 petrol when it’s absolutely necessary.
There is, of course, the opportunity to pick and choose the energy management, the options including E-Hold if you’re inner-city, low-emissions zone-bound to conserve the battery’s charge. The drivetrain also allows you to push charge to the battery on the move, but do that and you could run a Turbo flat-chat down the autobahn and achieve similar consumption.
With all, there are some compromises then, not least in accessing them. Some elements of the hybrid drive require sub-menu navigation to find, not all being available on the mode switch dial on the steering wheel. Usefully, the Porsche Communication Management’s combined touch screen and haptic touch interface on the centre console is all fairly self-explanatory, if prone to the odd messy fingerprint.
What is clear here is that Porsche has been working on how the various hybrid elements interact. Driven initially on the original launch there were moments when the 4 E-Hybrid’s internal combustion and battery power mating seemed conflicted. In the Sport Turismo here, that’s far less obvious, the transition between E-Mode to Auto-Hybrid and back, and everything in between, a bit more resolved, if not entirely seamless.
There’s still the odd hiccup through the eight-speed PDK transmission, a low speed knock that upsets the Panamera’s otherwise fine refinement. The accelerator pedal feel is transformed, the odd, unnatural push back from the pedal of the early cars not so obvious here. Porsche has clearly quietly working on the system’s integration behind the scenes. The brake pedal, too, feels more conventional, even though they remain tasked with regeneration and not quite as decisive in their initial bite as regular Panameras.