By on July 28, 2017

2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo - Image: PorscheIn most cases, it’s a foregone conclusion. When there are multiple bodystyles available, the fewest number of buyers exist for the wagon.

The Porsche Panamera’s case is unique, however. There is no Porsche Panamera sedan. This is a battle between the regular second-generation Porsche Panamera — a hatchback or liftback or fastback or backbackbackgone or whatever you want to call it — and the new Sport Turismo, a shooting brake five years in the making.

Yet with limited practical benefit, “It’s a question of taste; some people like the Sport Turismo more, some people like the sports sedan more,” Porsche’s sales and marketing director told Stefan Utsch, told Motoring.

80 percent of taste buds apparently prefer the regular Panamera.

Although the Panamera Sport Turismo offers less than one additional cubic foot of cargo capacity, there’s some flexibility gained by the lower load floor. More importantly, the Panamera Sport Turismo can ferry one additional passenger, though one wonders how many five-occupant Panamera Sport Turismos you’ll see on the morning commute.

So it’s down to the length of the roofline. Do you want it short, or long? “There will be country-specific differences,” Porsche’s Stefan Utsch says, “but in the worldwide perspective we expect to have about 20 per cent share Sport Turismo.” Porsche expects Europe to be more keen on the wagon, but Utsch says demand for the Panamera Sport Turismo in the U.S. and China is a question.

The U.S. and China account for 55 percent of Porsche’s global sales volume.

Porsche is reasonable in its expectations. There’s apparently little hope that the Sport Turismo will dramatically increase overall Panamera sales. “We want to get on-top [incremental] volume but not all will be,” Utsch says. Not only does Porsche believe the Sport Turismo is going to appeal to buyers of conventional Panameras, and vice versa, but Porsche’s Australian public relations chief Paul Ellis says, “This car will appeal to a high-end Cayenne buyer because of its flexibility and extra space.”

In the U.S., where Porsche is on track for roughly 6,000 Panamera sales in 2017, a similar sales pace in 2018 would result in around 1,200 Panamera Sport Turismo sales and 4,800 sales of the established Panamera.2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Production Line Leipzig Germany - Image: PorscheProduction of the 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo began in Leipzig, Germany, in mid-July.

Basic Sport Turismo pricing is $11,200 dearer than for the regular Panamera; $6,600 pricier than the least expensive all-wheel-drive Panamera. The Panamera 4 Sport Turismo’s MSRP is $97,250. One rung up the ladder, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo costs $105,050. The the Panamera 4S Sport Turismo enters the fray at $110,250. Topping the range is the $155,050 Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.

[Images: Porsche]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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