Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo: exercise style

Introduced as a five-year study at the Mondial de l’Auto five years ago, Sport Turismo, the umpteenth version of the Panamera, offers essentially more features such as more spacious rear seats and a More voluminous chest. In fact, this is not the case. It is first and foremost an exercise in style.

In the automotive world today, eccentricities are all the more appreciated because they are rare. The hunting family – formerly a craft-oriented style to take dogs – belongs to this uncommon category, but creates myths under the coats of arms of Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Lotus. The German manufacturer, still tracking down the new customer, believes it was time to rehabilitate the genre. Was it necessary?

Another Panamera no doubt, but this one has the merit of being visually different. Strongly inspired by the eponymous study presented at the Paris Motor Show in 2012, the Sport Turismo goes down the street. The proportions of the series model are similar to those of the prototype, but the pencil stroke here appears less fine.

Slightly higher than the standard version (+5 mm), the Sport Turismo provides passengers with rear seats with better access to them. Another special feature of this model is a five-seater configuration. Do not believe it. It would be more appropriate to speak of 4 + 1, since nobody wants to take place in the central part, even for a short distance. The seat is flat and hard and, moreover, the poor occupant will have to ride the very imposing tunnel of transmission that is at his feet. Ridiculous. And what is even more so is that the four-seater configuration with two individual seats is offered for an extra charge.

Less inclined, the power liftgate boasts a boost volume of 20 liters (520 liters or 420 liters for the hybrid version) compared to the standard Panamera.

It’s little, but it’s always taken. The three folders (40/20/40) can be folded together or separately, which adds to the modularity of this car. By folding all the backrests, the cargo area is almost flat, the cargo volume reaching nearly 1390 liters for gasoline versions and 1295 for hybrid declination.

Among the original features of this model is the presence of a retractable aileron. Positioned at the top of the bezel, the bezel tilts or unfolds according to the situation and the driving mode. Three positions have been defined to reduce air resistance or improve stability. The angle of this aileron varies from +26 degrees to -7 degrees. This last retracted position is active up to 170 km / h. Beyond this speed, its angle automatically changes to 1 degree, in the Performance position. Note that in Sport and Sport + mode, this spoiler is deployed from 90 km / h and adds an aerodynamic support equivalent to 50 kg on the rear axle.

In short, unless you go on a circuit with a long straight line, you will never have the chance to check the benefits.

Pretty jewel case

Inside, space is not lacking. The occupants are welcomed in a sober elegance, structured around a large console leather-wrapped which extends in the direction of the length which houses – finally, some will say – of cup holders. Overall, the interior aspect is licked and rewarding for a vehicle of this rank and which, let us not forget, prices rather high, especially when you skim all the groups of options, which do not Finishes more.

We are astonished, however, for a car so exclusive and so-called avant-garde, to find only one USB socket (one second is offered, but only in 4 + 1 configuration).

Moreover, among our complaints, we mention the highly debatable ergonomics of several commands. By deliberately choosing to clean the buttons – and God knows they were many, but easy to manipulate on the first generation of this model – Porsche obviously has not planned a transition period. With the exception of the speed selector and five switches (on the first generation, there were 25), the smooth and tactile console represents a distraction, since one never has the conviction of having pressed correctly on the command. To ensure this, you must regularly leave the road with your eyes to see if it is in operation or not.

It would probably have been preferable to get feedback tactile in the manner of the Cadillac, for example, to make the experience more enjoyable.

Piloted suspensions limit the trepidation on deformed pavements to almost nothing, but with the condition of not selecting the Sport + function, whose rigidity has not yet a place on public roads in Quebec … The other two modes offered Are enough to stick the Porsche to the bitumen with astonishing tenacity.

The turbo effect

Technically, the characteristics of Sport Turismo remain identical to those of Panamera standard. For now, the range consists of four models: 4, 4S, 4 E-Hybrid and Turbo. The latter is, by far, the most exciting to drive, failing to be financially the most affordable.

Its supercharged 4-liter V8 engine delivers true sports car performance with a 0-100 km / h shot in less than 4 seconds.

Rather lively in its reactions, this engine saddles itself with a transmission with disappointing performance. Although the latter has a double clutch and eight gears, this box lacks reactivity and also does not show the flexibility of a conventional transmission.

Moreover, from the conduct of this “eccentric family”, we mainly retain a rapid direction capable of forgetting the weight of the vehicle if the road is not too winding. The Sport Turismo prefers large spaces and negotiates turns with amazing stability for a vehicle of this size. In short, it is still surprising to see this car weighing nearly 2 tons dive to the ropes of turns on its oversized discs and pull out with such strength.

As with all the versions it produces, Porsche will never communicate the sales of this version Sport Turismo which, if not as spacious and functional as it claims, nevertheless brings a zest of madness to a category otherwise very conservative .

Porsche Canada paid the cost of hosting this report.

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