Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Makes its Driving Debut in Beverly Hills

When Porsche launched the Type 970, aka the Panamera saloon at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show, it received quite a lot of criticism. Though in no way did it induce the wrath of the press and the public like the Cayenne SUV did, they all agreed that its design was, if not ugly, then certainly heavy-handed. It was an issue that came up in each and every review: the Panamera was praised for its sporty ride, quality interior and ability to transport four adults and a fair amount of luggage but its exterior styling was always the sticking point. Fast forward three years to the 2012 Paris Auto Show and the Panamera Sport Turismo concept. In sharp contrast to the production Panamera saloon, the shooting brake received universal praise for its sleek styling that, the company said, “is an outlook on a possible Porsche sports car of tomorrow”. What it really means is that it previews the second-generation Panamera. The thing is that, while Porsche boss Matthias Mueller confirmed that the next Panamera will get a coupe version, he said that the shooting brake “has not been approved for production”. That would really be a shame, because it surely looks the part and would make for a nice addition to the Panamera v2.0 line-up. Maybe Mueller was sandbagging after all, though, beacuse Porsche has released a video of the Panamera Sport Turismo driving around Beverly Hills – and we have to say that it looks even better in the real world. Just to refresh your memory, the concept is powered by a hybrid powertrain that consists of a 3.0-liter V6 engine with 329hp (245kW / 333PS) and a new electric motor that generates about 94hp (70 kW / 95PS) for a maximum combined output of 410hp (306kW / 416PS). The car’s lithium-ion battery is located within the boot floor and can be externally charged within 2.5 hours (depending on the power supply). Porsche claims that the car can be driven in pure electric mode up to a speed of 130 km/h (81mph) and can cover distances of over 30 km (19 miles). You can watch the Panamera Sport Turismo in motion in the video that follows the break.By Andrew Tsaousis