Porsche says its Panamera Sport Turismo concept car, unveiled at the Paris auto show today, combines the next generation hybrid drive technology with the design language of tomorrow.
It is said to marry Porsche's legendary performance with comprehensive everyday practicality.
In the process, it fixes what many consider to be the awkward proportions of the current Panamera, particularly in the rear quarter and decklid area.
Long, low and wide, it features short overhangs and a sloping hatch-lid that combine the sporty with the functional.
A smooth, taut exterior skin is uninterrupted by such add-ons as exterior mirrors, whose function is fulfilled by cameras mounted in the side air, their images displays in the cockpit.
Although completely redesigned, the rear bodywork remains distinctly Porsche. And it's Kamm-style tail, with carbon rear spoiler, seems far more comfortable with the rest of the car than the original Panamera design.
Designated "e-hybrid," the concept is a plug-in hybrid that combines the output from its supercharged 3.6-litre V-6 engine with that of a 70-kW electric motor for to produce 416 horsepower at peak. Porsche says it will accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in less than six seconds.
A further development of the parallel full hybrid used in today's Panamera S Hybrid and Cayenne S Hybrid, iIt also produces impressive fuel economy with a combined rating of less than 3.5 L/100 km, per the NEDC standard.
The Sport Turismo uses a 9.4 kWh lithium-ion battery module that packs several times the performance of the nickel-hydride battery used in the current production models within virtually the same dimensions.
It is said to provide faster acceleration, longer electric driving range and higher speeds when driving without the internal combustion engine.
The default operating mode of the e-hybrid prioritizes all-electric driving, but the driver can deactivate that default by pressing a button on the steering wheel.
It's also possible to select an e-charge mode that intensifies battery charging rate when driving in hybrid mode.
Porsche says the interior of the Sport Turismo is a forward-looking interpretation of purist sports car thinking: as little as possible and as much as necessary.
Instead of classic instruments, a large central TFT colour display, positioned in front of the driver, can be used to call up and display any vehicle information as needed – from a tachometer to driving data or navigation.
The concept also gives the driver new options for customized communications, using mobile online services to access and control all key vehicle information with a smart phone app.
The vehicle’s interior can also be preconditioned by mobile phone – for example by turning on the air conditioner so the interior will be at the desired temperature before driving with electricity supplied from a household electrical outlet.
Porsche has made no commitment to producing the Sport Turismo, but don't be surprised if the next-generation Panamera not only looks very much like the concept but incorporates much of its technology.