Clark Griswold, eat your heart out…
Spotted at Autoscope: a brand new Panamera Sport Turismo! And it’s the Turbo model, no less… Family Truckster it is not.
Here’s the latest from our IG (you should definitely follow us @AutoscopeDFW, by the way…). As the finest European car repair facility in North Texas, we’re no stranger to automotive finery around the shop. But every now and then, something a bit more unique or rare will turn out and make you look twice. Check out our post of the brand new 2018 Porsche Panamera “Sport Turismo” Turbo we spotted at our Park Cities / Love Field location. But first, I want to say a few things about this car… (If you really only want to look at it and skip the pedantic rambling, you can scroll down to our Instagram post at the bottom.) To me, the Sport Turismo represents an 8-year-old wrong that has, at last, been righted.
Re: The Porsche Panamera
Driving dynamics and interior quality notwithstanding (as a car and from the perspective of the person driving it, the Panamera is excellent), many people are divided over the looks of the standard Panamera. There aren’t very many middle-of-the-road opinions about it. Some people love it. Personally, I’m not a fan but I can see how it might appeal to others. To me, its lines and proportions have always seemed a little awkward. It’s almost as if when the deadline came to turn in their finished design, the designers still weren’t super sure how to finish the rear of the car, so they sort of just…rounded it off.
Enter: the Panamera Sport Turismo
Not so with this new wagon configuration. It looks fantastic. It’s what the Panamera should have always been: practical (as luxury performance cars go…), beautiful, and, crucially, it still drives like a Porsche. And it’s exciting! Porsche have managed to make the station wagon exciting. If you’ve just furrowed your brow at that last statement, thinking, “Uh, what about the M5 wagon/CLS63 AMG(or newer AMG CLA 45) Shooting Brake/Volvo 850R wagon/any of the Audi RS series of wagons/etc…,” then 1. you’re clearly really into wagons, and 2. hold your horses; you’re not wrong, but bear with me and allow me to crystallize my point. Also, I think we can all agree to leave the Ferrari FF out of the discussion, because it’s hideous.
“I think we can all agree to leave the Ferrari FF out of the discussion, because it’s hideous.”
Believe me, I have not forgotten about any of those cars. You are correct that despite what one might infer from the amount of press this new Panamera Sport Turismo is getting, Porsche did not, in fact, invent the concept of a high-performance luxury sport wagon. Also, you have rightly pointed out that there have been, and still are, many great performance wagons, including all of those mentioned above. I wouldn’t argue either of those two assertions, and I’m not. What I’m pointing out concerns not the breeding or the specs or the driving experience of the car, but the designing, or more simply, how it looks.
Other examples of fast wagons are all, or mostly all, existing performance cars with some extra sheet metal added to the back. They are triumphs of the philosophy that being a station wagon doesn’t have to diminish the enjoyability of the car. In other words, they are practical family-toters that you don’t need to be embarrassed about driving. Their designs are borne of the effort to maintain as much aesthetic appeal of the original car while transforming it from sedan to wagon; the results mostly range from respectable to stately to unassuming (in the case of the Volvo, very unassuming).
But the Porsche…
Admittedly, the look of the Porsche was no less pragmatically arrived at by the need to take one car and make it a more wagon-y one. However, this is where the Porsche and the pack of other sports sedans-cum-wagons diverge. My entire point is this: the design achievement of the Panamera Sport Turismo is that it is a wagon-shape that is exciting. It is exciting in its own right, irrespective of the original iteration of the car whence it came. It stirs me. If the original Panamera never existed and this year Porsche was releasing an All-New Panamera Sport Turismo, the entire car would still make perfect sense exactly as it is. And again, yes, I would see it and it would evoke a certain flavor of excitement that, for me, is almost exclusively associated with true, dyed-in-the-wool sports cars and race cars. And it’s a wagon.
Bottom line? This is not your grandma’s station wagon. Unless your grandma has a thing for twin-turbo V8’s.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
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