2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo first drive review: practically perfect in (almost) every way


Neither jaw-droppingly gorgeous nor particularly utilitarian, the 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo is nonetheless highly endearing.

It’s the latest in a line of cars from Porsche that seem to do little wrong either on paper or in reality. It's practically perfect, but not all that practical.

MORE: Porsche's concept-inspired Panamera Sport Turismo

Porsche stops short of calling the Panamera Sport Turismo a shooting brake, but that might be because the traditionalists in Stuttgart realize that it’s a 5-door and not a 3-door. And it's not really a station wagon since it'll only hold about a backpack's worth of additional cargo compared to the regular Panamera.

2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

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Up until its B-pillars and under its hood, the Sport Turismo mirrors the standard-issue Panamera, but things get more interesting the further back you go. Instead of dropping off aggressively aft of the rear seat in an attempt to channel the 911, the Sport Turismo’s roof line curves gently downward. It meets an integrated spoiler that contains a second spoiler—yes, Porsche put a spoiler in its spoiler—that pops up at higher speeds for more downforce.

It’s not a wagon, as a look from the rear clearly indicates. The Sport Turismo’s rear window juts inward rather than staying somewhat vertical. That’s to the detriment of utility but it does endow this 5-door with a truly unique shape.

In Europe, it’s the answer to the recently discontinued Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. Here, it’s kind of on its own. But that’s something Porsche does well.

Porsche doesn’t predict that the Panamera Sport Turismo will eclipse the standard model in terms of sales. To that end, it’s being cautious, at least initially. Only all-wheel-drive Panamera 4, 4S, 4 E-Hybrid, and Turbo variants will be on offer. There’s no rear-drive model and the new, range-topping Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid with its 680-horsepower hybrid powertrain won’t get the Sport Turismo body.


 
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