by Karl Furlong
After Porsche had established the Panamera as an oddball luxury sedan for the driver, the brand extended the range with the addition of the Sport Turismo body style. Sharing its mechanicals with the Panamera, the Sport Turismo's wagon/shooting brake design is thoroughly unique and arguably more stylish than the regular Panamera. In E-Hybrid guise, the Sport Turismo produces either 457 horsepower, or a startling 677 hp, in the case of the V8 Turbo S, the latter taking a ridiculous 3.2 seconds to get from zero to sixty. That's faster than the non-hybrid Panamera Turbo. A superbly built cabin and greater efficiency than the non-hybrid Sport Turismo are further advantages to this wagon. The combination of hybrid performance and a wagon body style is thoroughly unique in this segment, setting apart the E-Hybrid from both the traditional Mercedes S-Class/BMW 7 Series brigade and the Ferrari GTC4Lusso, which has just two doors. In short, there is nothing else quite like the Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo.
Last year, Porsche made a few changes to the Sport Turismo range such as the availability of a head-up display. The changes are even more subtle this year, being restricted to two new paint colors: Gentian Blue and Papaya, both metallic shades.
See trim levels and configurations:
Although the regular Panamera looks a lot better today than it did when the first-generation model arrived over a decade ago, the Sport Turismo is a considerably more stylish prospect, especially from the B-pillar and back. The base model has 19-inch alloy wheels, Acid Green brake calipers (a feature that sets apart electrified Porsche models), a panoramic roof, LED headlights, twin single-tube tailpipes, and an adaptive rear spoiler. On the Turbo S, 21-inch wheels and special Turbo tailpipes are fitted. The whole package is low, taut, and sporty.
Firmly positioned within the full-size segment, the Sport Turismo is a substantial car that is similar in size to the regular Panamera. The length works out to 198.8 inches, width including the side mirrors is 85.2 inches, height is 56.2 inches, and the wheelbase is 116.1 inches. The Turbo S is marginally taller (56.4 inches) than the base E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. With the heavy battery pack on board, the base model has a curb weight of 4,996 pounds, increasing to a portly 5,279 lbs for the Turbo S.
On the 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, a 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine is employed with outputs of 330 horsepower and 327 lb-ft of torque. The mighty Turbo S E-Hybrid has a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 550 hp and 567 lb-ft. In both cases, an electric motor provides an additional 134 hp and 295 lb-ft. The 4 E Hybrid, therefore, has total system outputs of 457 hp/516 lb-ft and will reach 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds thanks to the Sport Chrono package. A top speed of 170 mph is achievable on this model; just like the Turbo S, a quick-shifting eight-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive are used. It's one of the best transmissions in the world.
The Turbo S has stunning combined outputs of 677 hp and 626 lb-ft which it uses to blast to 60 mph in only 3.2 seconds before reaching a top speed of 192 mph. For anyone still doubting hybrid technology, the gas-only Turbo model is no longer the fastest Panamera. Overall, the E-Hybrid Sport Turismo's performance leads the way for full-size luxury cars.
The Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is a different kind of Porsche which can seem disappointing if compared with the 911, a sports car benchmark for communicative steering and cornering balance. But to compare the much heavier and more luxurious Sport Turismo with the 911 would be missing the point a bit. As luxury sedans go, the Sport Turismo - with standard adaptive air suspension - does a brilliant job of smoothing out bumps and surface changes, keeping occupants comfortable and isolating them from annoying external noises. Mechanical refinement is also a strong point, with an almost imperceptible transition between gas and electric power.
Taken through a series of corners, the Sport Turismo exhibits excellent grip levels but the steering, although precise, is disappointingly muted for a Porsche. The car's weight also limits its agile feel, but in the context of its weight, it's impressive indeed. For an added cost, you can equip the E-Hybrid with rear-axle steering, which helps to make the large Porsche feel more maneuverable at lower speeds. There are no complaints about the brakes, though; the ceramic composite stoppers feature ten-piston calipers in front and four-piston ones at the back, effortlessly bringing the Sport Turismo to controlled stops.
The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is the more efficient of the two-model range, returning 23 mpg combined on gas and 51 MPGe on electric power, exactly the same figures as the 4 E-Hybrid Panamera sedan. The Turbo S E-Hybrid's figures are 20 mpg/48 MPGe by comparison. The 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery comes with an on-board charger but can only manage about 14 miles of electric-only range. Combining this with a full 21.1-gallon gas tank should realize a total range of about 499 miles for the 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. With a standard 120-volt plug point at home, a full charge will take about 12.5 hours, while a 240V system will charge in around three hours.
The Panamera Sport Turismo seats five passengers, but it's officially a 4+1. That's because, while there is a rear bench seat, the middle-seat passenger will have to contend with a console (with integrated air vents) that severely restricts leg/foot space. Rear-seat legroom for the outboard seats is acceptable, and the headroom is surprisingly good both front and rear. The 4 E-Hybrid has partial leather upholstery fitted by default, but it's disappointing to only get eight-way power-adjustment in a luxury car at this price. Things are better when you move up to the Turbo S, with standard leather upholstery and 14-way power-adjustable front seats. Both models have front heated seats, but only the Turbo S adds standard heating to the rear chairs, too.
As wagons go, the Sport Turismo falls well short of the expected cargo capacity. Behind the second row of seats, a mere 15 cubic feet of space is available, which is outclassed by some much smaller sedans and hatchbacks. For the weekly shop, this will be sufficient, but extended trips for four adults will pose some issues. By folding down the 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats, 45.7 cubes of total cargo volume can be freed up. On the plus side, the trunk itself is well-shaped, without any intrusions to hinder the loading of larger items.
Although there are four cupholders, small-item storage also disappoints a bit because both the door pockets and the center console compartment can't accommodate many items at all. Rear passengers have access to their own storage area.
Porsche's commitment to an absorbing driving experience is sanitized a bit by a much less generous approach to standard equipment. It's not that we can't fill up a page or so with the Panamera's standard features, but there are certain expectations for cars that cost over six figures. The base model gets eight-way power front seats with heating, dual-zone climate control, front/rear ParkAssist with a rearview camera, keyless ignition, twin rear USB charging ports, and a multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles. On the Turbo S, the rear seat is also heated and the front seats gain 14-way power adjustment. The dearth of standard driver-assist technologies is jarring, with surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, a head-up display, and lane-change assist all being pricey extras.
Infotainment is controlled via the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display. The screen looks fantastic, with excellent clarity and quick responses, but the menus aren't as simple to work through as those in BMW's iDrive or Mercedes' MBUX systems. And while Apple CarPlay is included, Android Auto integration is not. The system does come with navigation, Bluetooth, USB input, an auxiliary input, wireless internet access, HD Radio, voice controls, and SiriusXM satellite radio, although the latter is limited to a three-month trial subscription. The base model has a ten-speaker audio system, but this gets upgraded to a 14-speaker Bose surround sound system on the Turbo S E-Hybrid. As usual, a host of add-ons are available, ranging from a rear USB interface to a rear-seat entertainment system (with two ten-inch touchscreens) to a 21-speaker Burmester high-end 3D surround sound system.
Promisingly, both the 2020 and 2019 Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo models have been recall-free, with no issues reported by the NHTSA. If anything does go wrong, you'll be covered by the manufacturer's four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty (including 24-hour roadside assistance), a four-year/50,000-mile limited paint warranty, and 12 years corrosion coverage regardless of mileage. The limited battery warranty extends for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Untested by both the IIHS and the NHTSA, official safety ratings aren't available for the Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. There's little reason to believe it wouldn't be a safe car, though, with standard features like ten airbags (including dual front knee airbags and rear side airbags), cruise control, Porsche Traction Management (PTM), and tire pressure monitoring. Front and rear parking sensors - along with the obligatory rearview camera - are also included, but you'll have to pay extra for a surround-view camera system, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, night vision, and lane change assist.
For the shopper who wants a large luxury car but something more dynamic and distinctive, the Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo makes a strong case for itself. In both guises, the addition of electric power makes for incredibly rapid performance, and the Turbo S, in particular, is one of the quickest cars in the world. Plus, it has the ability to seat five, making a 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds even more remarkable. Coupled with improved efficiency over the gas-only models, and the E-Hybrid's formidable powertrain is hard to argue with. While it doesn't handle like a 911, the Sport Turismo is an effortless mile-muncher and still a sharper drive than a conventional luxury sedan like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The wagon body style may not offer the cargo space you expect, but it makes the Sport Turismo much easier on the eye than the Panamera sedan. One of our primary criticisms is Porsche's stinginess when it comes to standard driver-assist technologies, with even subcompact cars offering features you need to pay for here. If they could improve this, it would add even more appeal to the already accomplished wagon that is the E-Hybrid Sport Turismo.
Just two trims are available, starting with the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo at an MSRP of $107,800. That's $4,000 more than the equivalent Panamera 4 E-Hybrid sedan. Topping the range is the Turbo S model at a much pricier $191,700. In both cases, the price excludes tax, licensing, registration, and a destination fee of $1,350. On a more positive note, the federal tax incentive for the 2020 Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo amounts to $6,712.
There is almost no end to the options you can add to the Sport Turismo. Adding expensive extras like club leather ($1,860), adaptive sport seats ($1,550), the Assistance Package ($5,370), the exterior Sport Design Package ($5,660), and massaging/ventilated seats ($4,070) can quickly send the Turbo S' price soaring beyond $210,000. Fully loaded, expect to spend over $250,000.
Of course, the heart is always going to want a V8 over a V6, but in this case, the price difference of $83,900 can't be ignored. Considering that the 4 E-Hybrid is plenty fast enough and equipped to a similar level as the Turbo S, we'd go with the base model and equip it with around $20,000 worth of options, which will still see you walk away with a massive overall saving. We'd spec ours with the 20-inch Panamera Turbo wheels, two-tone leather interior, the Premium Package Plus, and the much-needed Assistance Package, adding the likes of adaptive cruise control. The Exterior Sport Design Package adds some aggression to the styling, and that would complete our ideal Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo.
One of Ferrari's more unusual offerings is the shooting brake GTC4Lusso T. Like the Sport Turismo, it has sporty styling and can accommodate rear-seat passengers. Unlike the Porsche, the Ferrari only has two doors, and instead of a hybrid powertrain, packs in a magnificent 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8 with 602 horsepower. It'll hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, positioning it between the 4 E-Hybrid and the Turbo S E-Hybrid. In essence, the GTC4Lusso T is closer to its original brand ethos than the Panamera E-hybrid Sport Turismo; what we mean is that while the Porsche is excellent, it feels less like a Porsche and more like a really rapid hybrid wagon, whereas the rear-wheel-drive GTC4Lusso T feels every bit like a bonafide Ferrari, albeit one that can seat four. The Italian simply handles much better and engages the driver every step of the way, whereas the Porsche is more comfortable and is a lot better for rear-seat passengers. Both are breathtaking cars in distinctly different ways.
Porsche's foray into hybridization doesn't begin and end with the Sport Turismo. The Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe combines a powerful and efficient powertrain with a coupe-SUV body style to emerge as an interesting alternative to the Sport Turismo. At $86,400, the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe range starts at over $20,000 less than the Panamera E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, yet offers similar outputs. The Panamera's body style is closer to a traditional sedan, though, so it is dynamically superior through the corners, even if the Cayenne Coupe is exceptionally talented for what it is. The Sport Turismo is also quicker than the less aerodynamic Cayenne Coupe. The Cayenne Coupe has a larger cargo area and more interior space, but other than this, it's a less original concept than the Sport Turismo, which is just such a unique alternative to dime-a-dozen SUVs. It's the one we'd prefer to park in our garage.
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