It wasn't supposed to debut until the Paris Motor Show opens tomorrow, but leaked photos have revealed the new Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo concept. The shooting brake is officially designated a design study, but our information suggests that Porsche will soon put such a model into series production.
We reported in April that next year would bring several new versions of the Porsche Panamera. In addition to this shooting brake model, we can also expect a long-wheelbase Panamera and a four-seat convertible.
Images from Autocar reveal that the front half of the Sport Turismo concept mostly resembles any other Porsche Panamera. Instead of diving down into the regular car's bulbous and sometimes maligned rear, the Panamera Sport Turismo's roofline remains almost completely horizontal until it terminates in a stubby roof spoiler. A steeply angled rear windshield gives way to a skinny, full-width taillight assembly. The interior also shows signs of evolution compared to a regular Panamera. The analog instruments appear to have been replaced by a color LCD screen, and the tall center console has swapped its plethora of switches for an iPad-like touchscreen interface.
One of the leaked images is a cutaway that appears to show the Panamera Shooting Brake with a hybrid drivetrain. That wouldn't be overly surprising given that Porsche already offers the Panamera S Hybrid with a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine and 47-hp electric motor.
As we have previously reported, an all-new second generation of the Porsche Panamera is due by 2015. Next year, we can expect a mild facelift to address some criticisms of the car's design. It's uncertain just how soon a production shooting brake based on the Sport Turismo would debut, as one report suggested the model would arrive by 2016.
The car's most obvious -- and perhaps only -- competition will be the stunning Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake. Based on the CLS-Class four-door coupe, the Mercedes Shooting Brake also has an elongated roofline that finishes with a sharply angled liftgate. There's even an AMG-tweaked version with up to 557 hp.
Check back with Automobile Magazine for full photos, specifications, and information once the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo concept makes its official debut.