Car Review

Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

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Porsche has provided the clearest hint yet that its long held plans to expand the Panamera line-up to include a sporting estate have already progressed past the crucial decision-making stage and into the realms of new model development, with the unveiling of this production realistic concept car, the Panamera Sport Turismo

The up-market five-door, which showcases a development of the existing Porsche petrol-electric hybrid system complete with plug-in capability for the first time, is one of at least three new Panamera-based models Zuffenhausen bosses have been mulling over since the introduction of today’s liftback model to the line-up back in 2009. Visual changes over today’s liftback include an extended roofline, longer glasshouse and angled tailgate that opens at bumper height.

“The body concept of the Panamera Sport Turismo is an outlook on a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow,” says Porsche, without providing any official time line for the introduction of the production version. However, sources close to the German car maker say the new estate will make its market debut in 2016, with production set to take place alongside a successor to the liftback at Porsche’s increasingly active Leipzig-based factory, which also turns out the Cayenne and is also set to handle production of the upcoming Macan as well.

The decision to push ahead with plans for a Panamera estate has increasingly been driven by customer feedback, according to Porsche. “We have existing Panamera owners who seek greater practicality but don’t necessarily see the Cayenne as a solution.” While no official figures have been quoted for the size of its luggage compartment, the Panamera Sport Turismo is said to offer over 100-litres more than the Panamera liftback, which holds 445-litres. This would place it close to the A6 Avant, which is good for 565 litres, and the CLS Shooting Brake, with its generous 590-litres.

As well as formalising plans for a new Panamera estate model, the Sport Turismo also provides solid clues to the appearance all second-generation Panamera models will take into production. The classic proportions remain, with a long sweeping bonnet dominating the side profile. However, there has been a conscious effort to rid the new car of the bloated look of the existing liftback, with tauter surfacing treatment and the use of subtle creases within the body.

Among the details developed by Porsche design boss, Michael Mauer, and his team of in-house designers are newly shaped headlamps with distinctive double decker LED graphics, a more heavily contoured bonnet, greater structuring to the flanks with a reinterpreted version of the brake cooling graphic incorporated behind the front wheel arches, a more prominent lip to the rear wheel arches to accentuate the stance and thinner LED tail lamps that, in a nod to certain 911 models, are connected by a reflector strip in a move that provides it with greater visual width than today’s model.

Called e-hybrid, the Porsche developed system uses an upgraded version of the existing Panamera hybrid’s brushless synchronous electric motor, mounted within the forward section of the gearbox housing delivering 94bhp. It is supported by the same Audi-sourced 328bhp supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine used today.

Together, the electric motor and combustion engine provide a combined system output of 410bhp – a good 35bhp more than today’s Panamera hybrid and sufficient, according to Porsche, to propel the next-generation model from 0 to 62mph in less than six seconds, while providing combined fuel consumption on the European test cycle described as being better than 80.7mpg and average CO2 emissions of less than 82g/km.

Energy for the electric motor is provided by a 9.4kWh lithium-ion battery sited within the floor of the boot. It is planned to replace the nickel-hydride battery used by the current Panamera hybrid, with plug-in compatibility allowing it to be externally charged within 2.5 hours via a high voltage wall-mounted charger.

Porsche claims an all-electric range of 18.6 miles at speeds up to 81mph – values Zuffenhausen insiders suggest will be reflected on production versions of the second-generation Panamera. To optimise the range, the driver can select an e-charge mode via a steering wheel-mounted button to increase the amount of kinetic energy that is recuperated under braking and on periods of trailing throttle.

Another facet of the Panamera Sport Turismo that is tipped to be adopted on future Porsche models is its new graphics-based instruments and touch-sensitive interior control architecture conceived in-house.

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