Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Sport Turismo may have a bigger backside than the regular Porsche Panamera, but it matches it for acceleration. The 326bhp 2.9-litre turbocharged V6 petrol in the entry-level 4 is pokey but we suspect keen drivers will prefer the 'proper' performance and rev-hungry nature of the 434bhp 4S.
It’s not the fastest Panamera, but it's arguably the most satisfying dynamically. Why? Well, the engine is lighter than the more powerful V8 versions and the 4S isn't weighed down by any heavy hybrid batteries, either. Lightness means it's nimbler in the corners (more on that in a bit) and still capable of 0-62mph in as little as 4.3sec, which is rapid.
Still not enough for you? Then how about the range-topping Turbo S E-Hybrid? It twins up to 31 miles of silent electric power with a decidedly vocal (in a good way) 4.0-litre turbocharged V8. Together, they produce a colossal 690bhp that does wonders for its 0-62mph dash: just 3.2sec. It'll eventually top out at 196mph.
Be in no doubt, then, that almost all the engines are capable of flinging you down the road with great speed after just a flex of your right foot. But there’s something about the refined way the Sport Turismo delivers its prodigious turn of speed that means you're hardly aware of how fast you’re going – until you glance down at the speedo.
The standard PDK eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox changes gears smoothly when you’re up and running but there’s some jerkiness in stop-start situations. This is a bit worse in the hybrid models because when the petrol engine is needed it can jolt as its power starts to feed in. The PDK gearbox is capable of rapid shifts in auto mode and you can trigger those yourself using the steering wheel paddles.
You get four-wheel drive as standard, ensuring the power reaches the road effectively even in the trickiest conditions. An optional four-wheel steering system (standard on the Turbo S E-Hybrid) improves low-speed manoeuvrability, agility in fast corners and high-speed stability. It’s very good, but even the standard steering is accurate, beautifully weighted and delivers precise control, making the Sport Turismo utterly confidence-inspiring to drive.