Meet the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo; an estate concept that envisions how future Porsche hybrids will drive. And, erm, look.
For the moment, may we humbly request you set aside visual opinions currently causing boils to form on your forehead? Naturally, any discussion of the Panamera will largely revolve on how you feel about its looks. But it’s the quality of the meat we’re interested in here, not how it’s cut; suffice to say, the new estate-like profile makes it look like a Cayenne with its stilts shorn. It’s actually - dare we suggest - not that bad…
No, underneath that lower, wider and shortened body - a complete redesign that will eventually see service on the 2nd generation Panamera - is a development of the hybrid drive Porsche is currently peddling in the Panamera S Hybrid. When we drove that car last year, it was actually rather good. It pairs an electric motor to a V6 engine to keep emissions on the safer side of the taxman’s firing range, while still allowing fruity performance.
This new concept then, gets an uprated electric motor worth 95bhp - twice the power of the current Porsche hybrid drive motor - allied to a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 engine (still churning out 333bhp) to make maximum merriment of 416bhp. As such, deploy both electric and analogue horses, and you’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in less than six seconds, all driven through the rear wheels alone.
But, you’ll be able to drive up to a maximum of 80mph for around 18 miles using just that 95bhp electric motor alone. You don’t need an engineering degree to work out that this source equals zero emissions while driving, and helps overall CO2 output sit at less than 82g/km. That’s 416bhp and 0-62mph in sub six with a lower carbon footprint than a ruddy Volkswagen Up BlueMotion.
All this is thanks to that dandy new battery, a lithium-ion unit that’s the same size as the nickel-hydride one currently in use, but packs a higher peak power. Its default setting is electric, and utilising that s‘charged V6 requires pressing a button on the steering wheel. In turn, that V6 helps charge the battery through ‘load point shifting’, although you can simply plug it into any wall charger (AC) and power up in just 2.5 hours.
Naturally, it’s a concept, and so there are some very concept-y details included: there are cameras mounted where the door mirrors should be, there’s a 3D Porsche badge, a ‘liquid metal blue’ hue that should send anyone called Sarah Connor into a cold panic, a TFT colour screen in place of regular dials, two monitors showing those exterior mirror camera images, hybrid-drive displays, a power meter and mobile phone connectivity. Porsche tells us you can even use your phone to ‘precondition’ the car - setting up the air con, for example, before you get in.
And now you’re used to the Panamera’s ‘unique’ styling, this one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, should it?