The term Shooting Brake refers to a high-end estate or station wagon, which is often based on a saloon model. This niche segment is popular in Europe.
Porsche, however, has coined a new term for its Panamera station wagon: Sport Turismo.
Designed in parallel with the second-generation Panamera, the Sport Turismo gives buyers an option other than the Panamera saloon and its long-wheel-base Executive variant.
According to Porsche, everything aft of the Sport Turismo's B-pillar is new. What is a 911-ish rear in the saloon has morphed into a less truncated Ferrari GTC4 Lusso-like backend. Porsche says the car's taller roofline allows for a 2+1 rear seating (two individual seating is an option for the towkay who prefers to be chauffeured).
The estate is only 30kg heavier than the saloon. Its large tailgate opens electrically to a 520-litre luggage compartment. If the rear seats are folded flat, a 1,390-litre cargo hold is created. This is 20 and 50 litres respectively more than its sedan siblings. Loading your Honma golf clubs is also a cinch because of the car's low loading edge.
The Sport Turismo is an all- wheel-drive with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Its engine range at launch remains the same as the saloons' - from the base 3-litre 330bhp V6 to the 4-litre 550bhp V8 Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.
SPECS / PORSCHE PANAMERA 4 E-HYBRID; 4S DIESEL; TURBO SPORT TURISMO
Prices: $442,388; $577,288; $728,288 without COE
Engines: 2,894cc 24-valve V6 biturbo and electric motor; 3,956cc 32-valveV8 bi-turbo diesel; 3,996cc 32-valveV8 bi-turbo
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch with quick shift
Power: 462bhp at 6,000rpm; 422bhp at 3,500-5,000rpm; 550 bhp at 5,750rpm
Torque: 700Nm at 1,100-4,500rpm; 850Nm at 1,000-3,250rpm; 770Nm at1,960-4,500rpm
0-100kmh: 4.6; 4.3; 3.6 seconds
Top speed: 275kmh; 282kmh; 304kmh
Fuel consumption: 2.5; 6.8; 9.5 litres/100km
Agent: Porsche Centre Singapore
The test-cars were a 4S Diesel Sport Turismo, 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo and Turbo Sport Turismo.
The 4S Diesel variant produces 422bhp and a range-topping 850Nm of torque. It is surprisingly quiet and does not sound like a taxi from the outside - just a hint of diesel clatter when idle - unlike many diesel engines from premium brands.
The eco-friendly E-Hybrid makes a combined 462bhp and 700Nm from its V6 petrol burner and electric motor. This is enough to propel the car from zero to 100kmh in 4.6 seconds - which is the same as the lighter Panamera 4 E-Hybrid saloon.
In fact, all the Sport Turismo variants have the same century sprint timings as their sedan peers.
The E-Hybrid is equipped with Porsche's optional sport exhaust system. This is best enjoyed in Sport Plus mode, where the exhaust trumpets a racy rasp and crackle when you lift off the right pedal at high speed.
As with all Porsches, this one has a steering response that is extremely communicative. There is constant feedback as to what the front tyres are up to. There is also no difference in handling compared with the fastback saloon - light on its feet with balance and composure around sweeping bends. The chassis feels it can handle even more power than the 550bhp Turbo offers.
Porsche expects 20 per cent of Panamera sales to be from the Sport Turismo. I wonder if sales would be different if it were called a Shooting Brake.
•The writer contributes to Torque, a motoring monthly published by SPH Magazines.