2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo 971

Porsche Bills the new 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo as a ‘4+1’. An improvement over the regular Panamera’s four seats, yes, but that ‘plus one’ had better be small. Very small. They shouldn’t bring along too much luggage, either, as the Sport Turismo’s boot swells by a scant 25 litres with those rear seats in place, and only 127 litres more with them flat on the floor. A more practical Panamera, then? Undeniably, but only fractionally. From the company that designed and engineered the Zafira MPV for Vauxhall, we might have expected a little more in terms of practicality.

Nonetheless, while the Porsche Panamera has really grown into its skin in its second incarnation, the Sport Turismo makes it truly beautiful. The lengthened roof does wonders for its proportions.

This is a car that, in profile, has the grace of a classic shooting brake mixed up with the Panamera’s familiar performance and poise. In Turbo guise, it’ll be a madman. Here, in ‘4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo’ form it mixes electricity and a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 petrol engine for a combined 456bhp, which makes for 0-62mph in 4.6sec, a 170mph top speed and claimed fuel economy of 113mpg.

Not all at once, admittedly, or indeed ever when talking about that consumption figure, but then that’s always the case. Only more so with plug-in hybrids.

Not the powertrain we’d recommend then, even if the way it juggles its conflicting goals has improved since our first acquaintance. There’s plenty to keep you occupied driving it, the various drive modes allowing you to maintain battery charge, generate charge or use it, alone or combined with that V6 engine. It’s technically impressive, but all of that detracts from the simple joy of driving the car, and that’s something more conventionally powered Panameras do very well.

Evidently no less so with a bigger boot, which is a very good thing indeed, regardless of how the numbers stack up.

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