WON­DER WAGON

We drool over the Porsche Panam­era Sport Turismo

Albany Advertiser - - REV MOTORING GUIDE - Ewan Kennedy

Porsche Panam­era Sport Turismo adds an­other di­men­sion to the pres­tige Ger­man mar­que’s range.

It has a body that’s part way be­tween that of a sta­tion wagon and a five-door coupe.

It at­tracted plenty of at­ten­tion from those who know Porsches dur­ing our week’s road test, though some ini­tially failed to recog­nise that it was a wagon, which may be ex­actly what the de­sign­ers were aim­ing at.

Our test car was the big gun — the Panam­era Sport Turismo Turbo, which is sim­ply sen­sa­tional.

The new gen­er­a­tion Panam­era coupe has been on our roads for a bit over a year.

It has gained praise for hold­ing on to the orig­i­nal styling theme but tak­ing out that the slightly bul­bous roof line of the orig­i­nal.

The wagon takes the rear end one step fur­ther and to our eyes is the best looker yet.

The big 4.0-litre V8 has its twin tur­bocharg­ers sit­ting in­side the

It looks great, goes like a rocket and while not ex­actly cheap, it does pro­vide good value.

cylin­der banks, which min­imises turbo lag.

It pro­duces up to 404kW of power and 770Nm of torque, the lat­ter from just 1960 rpm, to 4500 revs.

It has a zero to 100km/h time of just 3.8 sec­onds when Launch mode is se­lected in the Sports Chrono pack­age.

There’s a big va­ri­ety of other en­gines on of­fer un­der the flow­ing bon­net of the lat­est Panam­era: a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-petrol that can be spec­i­fied with rear-wheel or all-

wheel-drive. All other mod­els are AWD only. A 4.0-litre turbo-diesel has 850Nm from just 1000rpm. And a petrol-elec­tric hy­brid.

Ev­ery Panam­era model comes with a fast-act­ing eight-speed dou­ble-clutch PDK au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

Ac­tive safety, that is the abil­ity to avoid a crash, is ex­cep­tion­ally good thanks to out­stand­ing han­dling, brak­ing and over­all per­for­mance.

Pas­sive safety, min­imis­ing inju- ry dur­ing the crash, is also to a very high stan­dard.

ANCAP and Euro ANCAP sel­dom test sports cars, so there is no star rat­ing for the Panam­era.

Per­for­mance from the big twin­turbo V8 en­gine is sim­ply sen­sa­tional.

There’s the stun­ning sound of a V8 en­gine be­ing worked hard that’s sure to bring a smile to your face. Vir­tu­ally no turbo lag and seem­ingly end­less torque. Keep an eye on that speedo if you’ve never driven a Porsche Turbo be­fore.

The PDK au­to­matic trans­mis­sion li­aises beau­ti­fully with the en­gine and al­most in­stantly senses the driver’s in­ten­tions in the way of ac­cel­er­a­tion.

There’s a huge amount of road grip in th­ese low-slung Ger­man sports wag­ons and go­ing around bends on dry roads at dou­ble the sug­gested speeds didn’t cause the slight­est trou­ble.

Four-wheel steer­ing gives good feel al­though it’s not quite as sharp as the pure Cay­man, Boxster and 911 mod­els, which is a sen­si­ble bit of design as Panam­era is a grand tourer rather than for week­end track days.

The large tyres and sportier sus­pen­sion set-up on the Panam­era Turbo did cre­ate a fair bit of a coarse-chip racket at times. Noth­ing like as bad as in the lat­est Porsche 911s, though.

The front seats are large and spa­cious and have plenty of sup­port in the in­ter­ests of lo­cat­ing those in the front seat dur­ing hard cor­ner­ing. With the driver’s seat in po­si­tion for my 182cm frame, there isn’t com­fort­able legroom to sit be­hind my­self in the back for long dis­tances. Head­room is fine, though.

The outer back seats are vir­tu­ally in­di­vid­ual units and also of­fer good sup­port.

There’s cen­tre seat to make Panam­era a five-seater but it’s re­ally only suited to short-term use.

Lug­gage space is 520 litres, which is not a lot up from the 495 litres of the coupe be­cause of the wagon’s sleek tail.

The rear back­rests fold down for added cargo cart­ing.

New Porsche Panam­era Sport Turismo Turbo is a stun­ning ex­am­ple of the lat­est in Ger­man sports wagon design.

It looks great, goes like a rocket and while not ex­actly cheap, it does pro­vide good value in this strato­spheric au­to­mo­tive arena.

Ac­tive safety, that is the abil­ity to avoid a crash, is ex­cep­tion­ally good, thanks to out­stand­ing han­dling, brak­ing and over­all per­for­mance.

The Porsche Panam­era Sport Turismo is a stylish high-per­for­mance wagon.

Ev­ery Panam­era model comes with a fast-act­ing eight-speed dou­ble-clutch PDK au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

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