THE 2017 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo has been caught testing at the Nurburgring, with its sleek wagon body style primed to inject some genuine sex appeal to the range when it arrives in Australia next year.
The upcoming Sport Turismo will be part of a three-pronged Panamera attack on the high-performance luxury saloon market, joining the sedan and an extended-wheelbase model that is likely to be aimed mostly at the burgeoning Chinese market.
The wagon’s design is clearly inspired by the 2012 Panamera Sport Turismo concept, and Wheels understands it will offer a five-seat layout as a key point of difference to the new Panamera sedan, which can only carry four.
While the Sport Turismo is yet to be officially confirmed for Australia, it is expected to lob towards the end of 2017. The exact specification is still to be determined too, but it will come in above the sedan in the Panamera range, with a ‘limited’ engine range.
The new-gen Panamera is on sale now in Australia, with local deliveries of the 4S ($304,200) and Turbo ($376,900) expected during the first quarter of 2017. The Panamera 4S Diesel ($312,400) will follow shortly thereafter, and the V6 Hybrid in mid-2017.
The second-gen Panamera sits on an all-new (MSB) platform and offers a choice of three powerplants paired with an eight-speed transmission.
The base engine is a 324kW/550Nm 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 which can propel Panamera 4S from 0-100km/h in 4.2sec (using the optional ‘sport chrono’ and launch control).
The Panamera 4S Diesel’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 makes a thumping 310kW/850Nm and is set to be the world’s fastest-accelerating diesel with a claimed 0-100km/h of just 4.3sec.
The new all-wheel-drive, four-wheel-steer Panamera Turbo gets a mighty 404kW/770Nm V8, and in that spec the weighty (1995kg) Panamera is two seconds quicker around the Nurburgring than a 997 Porsche 911 GT3.
The Panamera’s restyled exterior is an improvement on its predecessor’s generally unloved appearance and inside the luxurious ‘Porsche Advanced Cockpit’ is dominated by a huge 12.3-inch touch screen and a notable absence of buttons.
Handling-wise, the Panamera Turbo recently became the fastest production four-door sedan in the world, with a 7m39sec lap time of the 20.8km circuit.
That time - set on street tyres - enabled Porsche to claim its second-generation Porsche Panamera is the world’s fastest luxury sedan.