Having transitioned from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, the Porsche Panamera is making the jump into wagon life. Having teased the concept back in 2012, the engineers in Stuttgart have brought the bootylicious Panamera Sport Turismo to production. With room for four people and their luggage it's eminently practical, but the Porsche genes under the skin should mean it handles too.
It's a bit shallow, but we're going to start with the exterior of the Sport Turismo, because it's absolutely stunning. The four-door sedan Panamera was already a good-looking car, and extending the roof to create a wagon (or shooting brake) has only accentuated everything that was right about it. Short overhangs make what is a very, very long (5.05 m/16.6 ft) car look compact and purposeful, while broad hips give it a clear link to the classic Porsche 911 shape.
The shape isn't just pretty, it's clever as well. Sitting atop the hatchback is an extendable adaptive spoiler with three different modes, starting with the low-drag setting in action up to 170 km/h (106 mph). Beyond those speeds, the wing increases its angle of attack for greater stability on the autobahn, while opening the sunroof puts the wing into a third position designed to cut buffeting in the cabin.
Speaking of the cabin, the new body shape has freed up more room for rear passengers. In standard configuration the car has room for five, although the central rear seat is more of a short-haul jump-seat than a proper bucket. Alternatively, the cabin can be set out as a pure four-seater with electrically-adjustable seats in the back – perfect for exacting chauffeur-driven passengers.
There's now a commodious 520 liters (18.4 cubic feet) of luggage space in petrol-powered variants and 425 liters (15 cubic feet) in the hybrid. All three seats fold individually, and dropping them all frees up 1,390 liters (49 cubic feet) for skis, bikes or any other awkward objects you might want to carry.
Five engines will be available at launch, starting with the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo and extending up to the Turbo Sport Turismo, which pumps out 542 hp (404 kW) and 770 Nm of torque. At launch, the Turbo E-Hybrid powertrain which debuted last week won't be on offer in the Sport Turismo, but eco-minded buyers can still spec the regular E-Hybrid with its 343 kW (466 hp) petrol-electric powertrain.
The Panamera Sport Turismo will debut at the Geneva Motor Show, with deliveries set to start in October.
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