MALAGA, Spain – Remember the controversy when this full-size Porsche sedan was introduced? Purists were very displeased, criticizing its lack of proportion and nauseating tail end design.
That was in 2009. Since then, purists have accepted this Porsche and sales have increased progressively. Last year, Porsche’s stylists freshened up the sedan’s appearance for a much nicer result. What’s more, the more family-oriented Sport Turismo has been added to the lineup and is available in the same versions as the sedan.
It was the Sport Turismo that brought us to Spain. We had the chance to drive the new GTS versions of the 718 Boxster and Cayman, but that’s another story entirely. The Panamera Sport Turismo has been treated to all the technology developed at Porsche to date. It is now the flagship of the Porsche fleet.
Torque and then some
For starters, there’s a twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 engine accompanied by a 101-kW electric engine for a combined total of 680 horsepower. Even more amazing is that torque has increased to 626 lb.-ft. Yikes! With this engine, the Panamera can blast to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, according to the manufacturer. When you consider that it weighs 2035 kilograms, these numbers are pretty impressive.
Everyone knows that electric motors deliver a lot of torque, and it’s more than noticeable in this big wagon. There’s no lag at launch and even less when you reaccelerate. Torque peaks at 1400 rpm and transmitted to all four wheels via the all-wheel drive system, which comes from the fabulous 918 Spyder.An electric clutch actuator directs a decoupler integrated into the hybrid module for even faster reactions. This ensemble is completed by a wonderful and flawlessly efficient eight-speed PDK twin-clutch gearbox.
The plug-in Panamera has 49 kilometres of all-electric range in perfect conditions.You’ll also be able to reach a respectable speed of 140 km/h in EV mode. You can recharge the battery pack in 12.5 hours on a normal 120V outlet or in 2.4 hours on a 240V terminal.
The Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo S E-Hybrid is very elegant, distinguishing itself from the other versions with green brake calipers and several identifying logos on the hatch and sides. Moreover, an active spoiler is housed over the rear window and can assume three positions, depending on the speed you reach. This wagon configuration adds 50 litres in cargo volume compared to the sedan. As for the cabin, the presentation is extremely refined. The straight dashboard features a 12.3-inch infotainment screen that sits atop a huge central console whose usual buttons have been replaced with touch-sensitive controls.
Rear passengers will enjoy generous headroom and even a fifth seat in the base version. But word to the wise: this seat isn’t very comfortable. It’s only a spare seat. The better-equipped versions get two individual seats separated by a console.
While the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo is more environmentally friendly and just as athletic, its price could make your knees buckle. With a starting price of $214,900, you may be inclined to forego many options. Speaking of which, the options catalogue is as thick as ever.