Porsche has been giving some clues that it would expand its Panamera lineup to include a sporting wagon. But no hint was more obvious than when the German carmaker unveiled its Panamera Sport Turismo Concept at the current Paris Auto Show. The Panamera Sport Turismo concept features, for the first time, a plug-in version of Porsche's gasoline-electric hybrid system.
The Panamera Sport Turismo concept is one of at least three new Panamera-based models that Porsche is considering since launching the vehicle in 2009. Major visual modifications include an extended roofline, a longer glasshouse and an angled tailgate that opens at bumper height.
Porsche chief executive Mathias Muller is expected to confirm that new style-led wagon will become a part of the second-generation Panamera lineup. His confirmation is expected to coincide with the debut of the rival Mercedes-Benz CLS shooting brake at the Paris auto show.
Sharing the new Panamera's platform will be future Bentley models, as part of tighter engineering relationship between the two Volkswagen Group companies.
The Panamera Sport Turismo concept also furnishes Porsche a potential four-door challenger to the Ferrari FF, which features a similar style but is a two-door vehicle. According to Muller, the body concept of the Panamera Sport Turismo provides a preview on a possible “Porsche sports car of tomorrow."
He, however, did not disclose any official time line for the launch of the production version. Sources close to the carmaker told Automotive News Europe that the new Panamera wagon would be rolled out in 2016, and will be produced at Porsche’s Leipzig plant, which also builds the Cayenne and will be building the upcoming Macan.
According to Porsche, it had already tried to develop a wagon from the current Panamera design, but they found the high cost of re-engineering the rear body structure to be prohibitive.