What you see here is a concept of the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo. At face value the car is a thing of beauty, easily one of the most attractive wagons I’ve laid eyes on. Unfortunately, as much as I’d like to, I can’t like this car. I can’t like this car because it’s a Porsche; heresy such words might be, but they are accompanied by an explanation.
In the automotive world there are certain formulas that should be as constant as E=mc2. One formula that has stood the test of time for decades was that of the Porsche pedigree of Stuttgart, a family of RWD/AWD sports cars that consistently set the standard for purpose built speed machines. The formula of what has always made Porsche’s legendary is best personified in the 911. If you need a refresher of the 911 blood line… feel free to repent and read Chance Hale’s review of the 2012 911.
While it’s true that early Porsche’s started as modified Volkswagen’s, the recent influence of the VW brass hasn’t been good for Porsche. The Cayenne was the first step in the wrong direction, followed by the Panamera, and now the wagon brings up the rear in a parade of misfits that shamelessly bear the Porsche crest. This latest iteration of the Panamera may be attractive and will undoubtedly reek of opulence but it would honestly look better as an Audi. Audi has an eclectic lineup of models that cover most market segments in a business suit kind of way. The Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo is a business suit kind of car. Porsche’s of the Ferdinand pedigree are the types of cars that might be driven to the office in a business suit but in tandem with driving shoes and appetites for twisty roads. Not to mention Porsche’s were never intended to be present in every segment of the automotive industry.
It might be a an overused cliche but, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. In my opinion Porsche didn’t need fixing and while the tried and true Porsche’s, like the 911 and Boxster, still hold true to the successful formula that seems to get better with each passing model year. Panamera’s and Cayenne’s are chinks in an armor that has, until now, stood the tests of time. They may wear the Porsche crest but to me they will never be Porsche’s. The Volkswagen Group’s goal is to be the largest automotive company in the world but I fear it will be at the cost of fabled tradition.