Air suspension is also standard equipment in all the five versions of the Sport Turismo, save for the base Panamera 4 Sport Turismo which offers the feature as a cost option.
For now, the five engine options are shared with the fastback saloons – ranging from the base 3-litre V6 with 330bhp and 450Nm in the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, to the 4-litre V8 with 550bhp and 770Nm in the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.
Following the release of the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, we should expect a 680bhp/850Nm Sport Turismo Turbo S E-Hybrid down the road.
I sample the 4S Diesel Sport Turismo, 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo and Turbo Sport Turismo in Vancouver Island.
The 4S Diesel produces 422bhp and 850Nm, the highest torque output of all the engine variants (matching the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid saloon, though the latter wins hands down in power with 680bhp).
There is no prominent diesel clatter in the 4S Diesel from the outside – just a hint if you strain your ears to hear it after you have been told it is a diesel.
On paper, the 0-100km/h sprint takes a respectable 4.3 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package (and 4.5 seconds without), but on the road, it doesn’t feel it has a huge reserve of overtaking grunt, despite its lofty torque figure.
The manic Turbo Sport Turismo is a different animal. Even pottering about at 100km/h, you can feel from the accelerator pedal an explosive reserve of power lying in wait – ready to breach any speed limit in a nanosecond. This is where the difference in horsepower versus the 4S Diesel lies.
The eco-friendly E-Hybrid makes a combined 462bhp from its V6 petrol burner and electric motor, along with sporty torque of 700Nm. This is enough to complete the 0-100km/h race in 4.6 seconds with the standard Sport Chrono Package.
The hybrid system offers four modes of hybrid energy: E-Power for electric driving only, Hybrid Auto to leave the dual power sources to their own devices, E-Hold to maintain the battery charge level and E-Charge to charge the battery from the V6 engine while driving.
In Hybrid Auto mode, the to-and-fro baton passing between the V6 and the electric motor is as fluid and seamless as the best 4x400m Olympic relay teams.
If the vehicle is specified with the optional sport exhaust system (like my E-Hybrid test car), activating the Sport Plus mode would make the tailpipes trumpet a racy rasp and crackle whenever you lift your right foot off the accelerator pedal at speed.
All Sport Turismo variants rely on the 8-speed PDK – Porsche’s quick-shifting and creamy-smooth double-clutch transmission. Manual override via the paddle shifters on the steering wheel is always there for the taking.
The handling characteristics of all three Sport Turismos tested are identical and no different to the Panamera saloons’, which is a good thing.
As with all Porsche models, the steering response is extremely communicative. Like a tattletale, there is constant feedback to the driver as to what the front tyres are up to. The steering is also perfectly weighted – not too light and not too heavy, it is just right!
The ride is firm, which is how I like my car’s suspension. Damping is spot on – the three-chamber (per strut) air suspension does not get confused when faced with sudden potholes and less-sudden undulations. The damping answers all road surface issues thrown at it.
Point the steering wheel into an approaching bend and be rewarded with a composed and balanced entry all the way to the exit. Body roll is not in the vocabulary of the latest Panameras, and they all think they are light sports cars as opposed to heavy, sporty fastbacks/hatchbacks.
The chassis feels it can handle even more power than the 550bhp of the Turbo, and this is evident by the release of the 680bhp Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.
Porsche anticipates 20 percent of new Panamera sales to be the Sport Turismo. Since it is a more functional bodystyle, it’ll be a shame if it doesn’t find more buyers. But then again, the jury is still out on the styling of the Sport Turismo.
Like a long-time wife, the Panamera hatchback is pretty from certain angles but plain from others. The Panamera fastback, on the other hand, is like the hot new supermodel wife – perfect from every angle.
Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo 4.0 (A)
Type V8, 32-valves, turbocharged
Bore x stroke 86mm x 86mm
Compression Ratio 10:1
Max power 550bhp at 5750-6000rpm
Max torque 770Nm at 1960-4500rpm
Power to weight 270.3bhp per tonne
Gearbox 8-speed dual-clutch with manual select
Driven wheels All
0-100km/h 3.8 seconds
Top speed 304km/h
Consumption 10.6km/L (combined)
CO2 emission 215g/km
Front Double wishbones, adaptive air suspension
Rear Multi-link, adaptive air suspension
Front / Rear Ventilated discs
Type Pirelli P Zero
Size 275/40 R20 (front), 315/35 R20 (rear)
Traction aids ABS, PSM
Kerb weight 2035kg
Turning circle 11.9m
Price excl. COE $728,888 (after $10k CEVS surcharge)
Warranty 5 years/100,000km
+ Attractive “shooting brake” shape, more practical than the fastback variant, sporty performance
– “2+1” backseat doesn’t fit three adults, numerous options which are desirable but expensive