When Porsche showed off its all-new Sport Turismo concept this year, I didn't know what to make of it.

Was it showcasing Porsche's design language going forward? I mean, it had 918-inspired headlights, a Panamera-like greenhouse but a far more advanced interior.

It was also smaller -- what was up with that?

But thanks to our friends at Autocar, it's all starting to make sense.

Imagine the Sport Turismo going up against the likes of Audi's A6, BMW's 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz's E-Class?

Yeah'p that seems to be what's being discussed in Stuttgart, essentially.

Porsche is poised to give the green light to a direct rival for the BMW 5-series and Mercedes E-class after more than a year of research and debate, according to company insiders.

If the project is rubber-stamped, Porsche would for the first time be entering a mainstream market segment, albeit a premium sector dominated by the German ‘big three’. If the model gets the go-ahead, it will hit showrooms in 2016 at the very earliest, but it is still considered part of Porsche’s plan to sell 200,000 units annually by 2018.

2012 Paris Motor Show Photo Gallery

**The 2012 Paris Motor Show photo galleries are sponsored by Lexus

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Was Porsche's Debut Of The Sport Turismo Really An EARLY PREVIEW For An A6, E-Class, 5-Series Fighter?

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