Geneva Auto Show attendees were the first to lay eyes on the new 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, a stunning station wagon-shaped variant of the flagship Panamera sedan that itself was only just recently redesigned and shown at the L.A. Auto Show. Despite how it looks, the Sport Turismo is no longer, wider or taller than the sedan, and it rides on the same 116.1-inch wheelbase. Curiously, official rated cargo capacity has not grown as much as you might expect; the stated gains amount to 6 or 7 percent.
Why buy one, then? The squared-off roofline, which terminates in a clever new active-aero spoiler that self-adjusts at speed, lends the Sport Turismo a taut and muscular presence that the Panamera sedan has never been able to pull off. It looks amazing, in other words — so much so that it makes us wonder why the sedan needs to exist at all. After this, it probably doesn’t.
Although the increase in cargo capacity is modest, the Sport Turismo’s striking new shape does bring with it a host of practical benefits that make it far more usable. Rear headroom is notably more generous, and less ducking is required when climbing into the new three-across backseat. Porsche calls it 2+1 rear seating, so it’s no surprise that the new center position isn’t as accommodating as the overtly bucket-shaped outer seats. But it will do the job in a pinch, and it makes a handy perch for a child safety seat or a booster. The new split seatback folds down in 40/20/40 fashion when you need to expand cargo capacity, which is handy because the Sport Turismo is easier to load than the sedan because the hatch opening is broader and it features a lower liftover height.
That’s about it for the differences. All Sport Turismos come standard with adaptive air suspension, and all are equipped with the Porsche Traction Management active all-wheel-drive system. The Sport Turismo is otherwise equipped like the regular Panamera, with access to the same extensive performance and technology options and the same four powertrains. The Panamera 4 Sport Turismo will be powered by a 330-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine, while the 4S will use a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 440 hp. The Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo boasts a 550-hp twin-turbo V8 that makes it the quickest and most insane choice, while the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo goes in a slightly greener direction, pairing the 2.9-liter V6 with an electric motor to produce a combined 462 hp and the best fuel economy of the bunch.
Porsche has not yet released curb weight specifications, but its claim that the zero-to-60-mph acceleration times are no different from those of the sedan suggests that the Sport Turismo isn’t appreciably heavier. And if the engines can’t tell the difference at speed, then it’s a safe bet that everyday fuel economy, which also has not yet been released, will not be any different. By the same logic, handling and braking should remain every bit as impressive.
The 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo will begin arriving at dealerships in late 2017, but we already know how much they’ll cost. The starting prices will be $97,250 for the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, $105,050 for the 4 E-Hybrid, $110,250 for the 4S and $155,050 for the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo. Full option pricing details have not yet been released, but are expected soon.