Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo review - Engines, performance and drive
The Sport Turismo’s depth of talent ranges from luxury cruiser to out-and-out sports car ability
Given that Porsche made its name manufacturing sports cars, it should come as no surprise that its SUVs, saloons and estate cars follow the same path, offering levels of driver involvement not generally associated with these types of vehicle. And this holds true for the Panamera Sport Turismo, too.
Within the six-model range there are some differences to be noted depending on suspension set-ups and powertrains. But the overriding impression is that this two-tonne executive express rides, handles and performs with aplomb whether you opt for the entry-level Panamera 4 or the top-spec Turbo S E-Hybrid.
Perhaps what impresses most is the Sport Turismo’s agility – for a big, heavy car it handles exceptionally well, turning into bends with verve and composure, accompanied by exceptional levels of grip thanks to its four-wheel-drive system. The steering is nicely geared and well weighted, and if you go for the optional rear-wheel steering the Sport Turismo feels like an even more keenly sporting machine.
The E-Hybrid models aren’t quite so finely honed as the conventionally powered models, thanks to the additional weight they have to carry around. The range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid tips the scales at over 400kg more than the entry-level Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, and this extra weight can be felt when cornering at speed, even though the flagship model has more sophisticated air suspension rather than the more basic car’s steel spring set-up.
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That air suspension is an option on the Panamera 4 and 4S models, but is included as standard on the rest of the range. It’s worth having because it does help the Sport Turismo to ride with significantly more composure than the cars with the standard set-up, especially if large 21-inch wheels are fitted. In Normal mode, the Sport Turismo with air suspension has a remarkably fluid ride quality, with only the worst of potholes sending a shudder through the cockpit. In Sport or Sport Plus modes it’s considerably firmer and allows more minor road imperfections to be felt, but the flip side of this is superior body control when cornering.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
Despite Porsche shunning diesel power these days, there are still six models to choose from and even the entry-level £75,000 Panamera 4 Sport Turismo offers 325bhp and 450Nm of torque. That’s enough to propel it from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 160mph. The 4S features a reworked version of the 4’s 3.0-litre V6 for an output of 434bhp and maximum torque of 550Nm. Its 0-62mph time drops by over a second to 4.4 seconds and top speed rises to 177mph. You’ll pay an additional £21,000 for the privilege, though.
The other two conventionally powered Sport Turismos, the GTS and the Turbo, both use a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 in different states of tune. The GTS has 454bhp and 620Nm of torque to deliver a 4.1-second 0-62mph time. Meanwhile, the Turbo packs 542bhp and 770Nm for a 3.8-second sprint time. Top speeds are 179mph and 188mph respectively.
Porsche also has two plug-in hybrid models in its Sport Turismo range. The Panamera 4 E-Hybrid uses the Panamera 4’s V6 biturbo engine allied to an electric motor for combined maximum outputs of 456bhp and 700Nm of torque. It covers 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds. The range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid matches the Turbo’s 4.0-litre V8 with an electric motor for a colossal 670bhp and 850Nm of torque, which is enough for a benchmark sprint time of 3.4 seconds.
While the Turbo S E-Hybrid is undoubtedly the fastest choice in the line-up and the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid the greenest, most frugal and company car tax-friendliest, the hybrid models don’t quite offer the perfect Panamera driving experience. Their overly complex drive modes do take a little away from the fun behind the wheel.
In this review
- 1VerdictWith powerful engines, a sublime chassis and a luxurious interior, the Panamera Sport Turismo could be the ultimate executive express
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingThe Sport Turismo’s depth of talent ranges from luxury cruiser to out-and-out sports car ability
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsHybrid models offer significantly better economy and Benefit-in-Kind tax breaks, but are less involving to drive
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Sport Turismo’s cockpit features cutting-edge yet usable technology wrapped up with sumptuous finishes
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceImproved rear headroom, more luggage space and occasional five-seat capability enhance the Panamera’s practicality
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Sport Turismo should be safe and reliable, but some driver assistance systems are hugely costly options