For a time it seemed as though Porsche could only design 911's. The range-expanding Boxster, Cayenne and particularly Panamera models were great cars of course, but good-looking? Absolutely not. They resembled squished and stretched distortions of the somewhat limited 911 design vocabulary. No longer. Both the Cayenne and the Boxster have emerged from a series of updates as coherent designs with their own individual style and if the concept car just revealed at the Paris Motor Show is anything to go by, it is time for the seriously ugly Panamera to mutate into the handsome Grand Tourer it should always have been.
Porsche is calling this a concept vehicle because internally it showcases a bunch of technology that may or may not find its way into future cars. The exterior, however, is so well executed and finished that there can be no doubt that the next Panamera, due in about a year’s time, will look almost identical to this.
The existing car’s most pressing visual problem is the rear bulbous trunk, and this has been nicely raked and squared-off to create the popular "shooting brake" style and practicality. Light clusters are of course "LED-fabulous" and the front valance has the sharpened new styling of the Cayenne about it.
The drive system of the Panamera Sport Turismo is a development of the parallel full hybrid that Porsche already uses in the Panamera S Hybrid and Cayenne S Hybrid. The new electric motor produces about 70 kW (95 hp), which is around twice as much as in today's Porsche hybrid drive, while the three-liter V6 supercharged engine still produces 245 kW (333 hp). Combined, they accelerate the concept car from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than six seconds.
The interior features an all-LCD instrument pack with the screen "wings" showing video from the external cameras used instead of wing mirrors. Controls, as in all concept vehicles, are touch operated and all car information can also be relayed to your iPhone/iPad/Android thingy.
One can’t imagine this vehicle getting anything but an overwhelmingly positive reception at the Paris show, and therefore the green light for next year.