First Look: Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Concept

By now the Porsche faithful have gotten over the shock of seeing the company build the Cayenne SUV and the Panamera four-door, so we imagine it won't be too difficult for Porsche to sell them on another new body style: a shooting brake. Shown at the Paris Motor Show as the Sport Turismo concept, this car previews a Porsche Panamera shooting brake that should debut within the next few years.

The front half of the Sport Turismo concept looks just like a normal Porsche Panamera, but the rear half is totally different. Instead of dipping down to the Panamera's bulbous rump, the roofline remains nearly horizontal until it terminates in a carbon-fiber spoiler. Below that, a small rear windshield juts out from the body at a sharp angle, before meeting the full-width taillights and bottom of the tailgate. The LED taillights have a three-dimensional effect with little cutout ridges along the length; the slender assembly itself shares its basic shape with the lights on the newest Porsche 911.

The Sport Turismo measures 194.9 inches long, which is almost an inch shorter than a regular Panamera, and the roof is 0.7 inch less tall than that of a Panamera. Aside from the new rear, there are other design changes for the Sport Turismo. It adopts quad-LED headlights, and there are no exterior mirrors. Instead, tiny cameras relay images to an LCD screen in the instrument cluster. The car also wears Acid Green brake calipers and "e-hybrid" badges, hinting at the new powertrain used for this concept.

Plugging In The Hybrid

That powertrain is an evolution of the hybrid setup used in the Panamera S Hybrid and Cayenne S Hybrid. The car still uses a 333-hp, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine, but the supplemental electric motor now produces 95 hp instead of 47 hp. Coupled with a larger 9.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and external charging port, the Sport Turismo is a plug-in hybrid. Porsche says it could travel 19 miles at speeds of up to 81 mph on electricity alone, and the battery can be recharged in under three hours. The company predicts fuel economy equivalent to 67 mpg, and a 0-to-62-mph time of less than six seconds.

Along with the aforementioned Acid Green badges and calipers, the Sport Turismo highlights its greenie powertrain with a unique glass panel in the trunk. Pushing a button un-tints the glass and illuminates the aluminum battery housing in Acid Green lighting. It's a party trick that might impress your eco-conscious neighbors the first time, but otherwise it seems a frivolous feature.

Modernized Interior

The concept car's interior mostly resembles any other Porsche Panamera, albeit with a color LCD screen in place of the traditional instruments. The center part of the display shows speed, navigation directions, and other vehicle information, while either side of the screen relays images from the mirror-replacing cameras. To start the car, the driver pushes on a virtual button on the left side of the display.

The Panamera's tall center console also has been modernized, with its swath of small buttons replaced by a tablet computer-like touchscreen. It controls everything from the climate control and lights, to the power seats and navigation system. On top of that, the Sport Turismo concept comes with a smartphone app so owners can schedule recharging or turn on the climate control remotely. Many existing plug-in cars, including the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, already offer apps that provide that functionality.

Headed For Production

Porsche may label the Sport Turismo a concept car, but we know better. The company will soon launch a production Panamera shooting brake that will be somewhat inspired by this show car. It's unclear exactly when the model will go on sale, but some reports suggest we won't see the Porsche shooting brake until 2015 or 2016. That should give Porsche devotees plenty time to acclimate to the idea of their beloved sports-car company building a station wagon.

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