2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo review

Not sold on the new Porsche Panamera sedan, and would sooner hurl yourself off a bridge than be seen in a Cayenne? The 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo might be for you.

For all intents and purposes, this is ‘just’ a Panamera Turbo in wagon form, with the same interior, dynamics and performance, for a pocket-change premium of just $6200 compared to the lift-back sedan.

That’s no bad thing, of course, as the new-generation Panamera Turbo is an excellent car – a sublime daily driver with fantastic ride and one of the nicest interiors of any car on sale today. And, thanks to its 404kW/770Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and all-wheel drive, a car that serves up incredible performance when the red mist descends.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo frontThe Sport Turismo, which has a completely unique design from the B-pillar back, is a little heavier (40kg) which, while not blunting the manic 0-100km/h time of 3.6sec with optional Sport Chrono, does mean the sedan edges ahead to 160km/h, by just 0.1sec, 8.5sec versus 8.4. The sedan also boasts a 306km/h top speed to the Sport Turismo’s 304km/h.

Tiny differences, but enough for your mate with the sedan to give you grief. The Sport Turismo is also a fraction less aerodynamic with a cD of 0.3 versus the sedan’s 0.29, and the sedan claims 12.9L/100km combined consumption to the Sport Turismo’s 13.1.

It also gets an active roof spoiler than deploys in three positions for up to 50kg of downforce, hunkering down into a sleeker position at 170km/h to aid high speed stability.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo interiorPlainly, though, these are two very similar cars on the specification sheet, although – to the surprise of some – including the luggage capacity. For all its extended wagon shape, the Sport Turismo has only six per cent more luggage capacity, 1390 litres only just beating the sedan’s 1310 litres both with the back seats folded down.

Effectively, Porsche has supplied a variant to suit different aesthetic tastes more than anything else. And which of the two cars you, personally, are most likely to pull up a chair just to stare at, is not for us to say. If it does turn out the Porsche’s new ‘shooting brake’ is more to your tastes than the slightly slipperier sedan, you’ll still be scoring yourself an absolutely incredible car.

There are few cars that make you look forward to your daily commute as much as the Panamera Turbo does, with its jaw-dropping, luxurious interior – quiet, comfortable, and just nice to look at, owing to its well-judged mix of leather, piano blacks and optional carbon fibre panels. 

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo rearThe Panamera Turbo is easily in the top five nicest and most luxurious car interiors on sale today. 

As well as the feeling of solid built quality, this also has to do with the technology on offer as part of Porsche’s new generation interior, including the intuitive and attractive new PCM infotainment software and piano-black centre console, which replaces the previous mechanical clicking buttons with haptic touch items, like the home button the iPhone7.

When you find yourself on a twisty road it takes just the changing of drive modes to transform the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo into an animal of a car, our pick of settings Sport Plus on the steering wheel-mounted drive mode select button (with Sport Chrono), the dampers manually slackened off to their softest setting and PSM Sport engaged.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo engineThe Turbo Sport Turismo lets rip a satisfying V8 racket and hauls with enormous turbocharged torque, showing off impressive agility despite its two-tonne-plus kerb weight and even coming to the party with some tidy power oversteer out of tight corners if you want it to, such is the rear-biased character of its all-wheel drive system. 

And just a few button presses again, and the Turbo Sport Turismo settles back down into a comfortable, business-class-spec cruiser. MOTOR readers would do well to grab at the very least all-wheel steering ($4990) and Sports Exhaust ($6950) as options, with everything else including the carbon ceramic brakes and dynamic chassis control not really needed.

Sport Chrono knocks 0.2sec off the 0-100km/h time, from 3.8 to 3.6, installs a little cosmetic clock on the dashboard, and gives you the drive mode select rotary dial on the steering wheel, including the gimmicky Sport Response button as fitted to other latest-generation Porsche models. If all this is worth $4790 to you, go nuts.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo side profileWe struggle to find fault with the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo when weighing it against its target audience and purpose, aside from perhaps that customers considering the optional 21-inch wheels should weigh the difference in looks against a slight degradation in ride quality, and part of the Panamera’s not inconsiderable price is the three-way air suspension.

This is also a big, heavy car that’s much more of a cruise missile than motorkhana star – it’d be easy to find roads on which the Panamera very much feels its five-metre length, hence the recommendation to grab the all-wheel steering.

Otherwise the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo is an excellent car, incredibly comfortable for the daily commute yet happy to unleash its sizeable inner beast when the road gets twisty. The question really is whether your eyeballs delight more to fall on the sedan or wagon, something that’s entirely subjective.

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo badge

4 out of 5 stars

PORSCHE PANAMERA TURBO SPORT TURISMO SPECS:
Engine: 3996cc V8, twin-turbo, DOHC, 32v
Drivetrain: 8-speed twin-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive
Power: 404kW @ 5750-6000rpm
Torque: 770Nm @ 1960-4500rpm
Weight: 2035kg
0-100km/h: 3.6sec (claimed)
Top speed: 304km/h (claimed)
Price: $390,700

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