Track Time with the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

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Motorweek tracks the flagship Panamera alongside its hybrid cousin, the 918 Spyder, at the Algarve International Circuit.

What strange times we live in. It used to be that supercars were supercars and wagons were wagons. A Ferrari F50 looked exotic, sounded special, and cost a fortune. The Buick Roadmaster wagon was a huge boat of a car with faux-wood side panels that parents turned to for hauling their kids around. It sure as hell wasn’t fast, you could buy it at any Buick dealership, and owning one didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

That’s certainly not the case anymore. Not too long ago, Cadillac made a long-roofed CTS V with a 556-horsepower supercharged V8 and a six-speed manual gearbox. The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon costs more than $100,000 and gets to 60 in a dizzying 3.4 seconds. Porsche doesn’t call its flagship Panamera a wagon, but the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is close enough in shape to a wagon to get the point across. With a $188,400 starting price and total output of 680 horsepower and 626 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8/electric motor combo, it’s no Vista Cruiser. Quite the opposite. It’s Porsche’s second most powerful vehicle. Porsche 918 and Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

Those figures alone – and the Sport Turismo’s 3.2-second 0-60 mph time – are enough to blur the lines between supercar and wagon, but the above Motorweek video blurs them even more. The top Panamera contains hybrid performance technology similar to that found in the almighty Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar. The two cars may use green hardware and software, but its primary function is to lay down red-hot hot laps. Motorweek‘s Greg Carloss does just that at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal, noting that even though the 918 is an advanced mixture of electricity, gasoline, forced induction, and performance, it also has a rawness to it. Its V8 howls from behind the passenger compartment. The car itself makes Carloss feel as if he’s connected to the track.

In the Sport Turismo, Carloss marvels at the amount of torque on tap and the car’s high-speed stability. At 5,126 pounds, there’s no denying its weight, but that’s reigned in by robust carbon ceramic brakes.

Yes, under that large body with four side doors and a rear hatch are brakes made out of the same material used to slow down the world’s finest supercars and most exotic performance machines. Thanks to companies such as Porsche, we’ve come a long way from the old wagon days — quickly.

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Derek Shiekhi contributes to a variety of Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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