The new Porsche 911 Targa: Legends for the future
Brands need to tell the beautiful stories of the past. And what a joy to see Porsche continuing the story of Targa Florio! New 911 Targa is here and it is meant to talk Lifestyle more than any other supercar!
Porsche Targa is neither a cabriolet nor a coupe, neither a hard top nor a saloon, but something completely new: the first safety cabriolet in the world with a fixed safety or roll bar. This is the way Porsche originally presented its 911 Targa in September 1965 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. And while the legendary motor show is today gone as the world changes, the open air supercar style of Porsche lives on and it seems more beautiful than ever. Borrowing the name of Targa Florio race track where the Stuttgart brand has been so successful – the 911 Targa is now revealed as the third and I might say the most beautiful version within the 8th generation of the iconic 911. Continuing the contemporary tradition, Targa means all-wheel drive. The new Targa 4 delivers 385 HP, 15 HP more than the previous generation while the Targa 4S is now upgraded to 450 HP, a 30 HP more. No need to have in mind too many figures, just that you can get from 0 to 100 km/h in 4,2 seconds with the Targa 4 and in 3,6 seconds if you are willing to have the most powerful version, while the top speed of goes up to 304 km/h with Targa 4S and “only” to 289 km/h with the Targa 4.
The first element you get to see and love at the new 911 Targa is the large integrated roll bar that was almost lost after the third generation. Initially mounted in 1965 as the perfect solution to make the safest cabriolet possible – as rumours were talking about cabriolets to be forbidden in the USA for the lack of safety – it got off the Targa story once the fourth generation was launched. Back then Porsche preferred to opt for an all glass roof that glided under the rear window transforming the car into a sort of cabriolet. It may still be considered a good looking and useful solution as it also allowed for the rear window to be opened individually. Luckily though, once the seventh generation was introduced, Porsche decided to go back to its first love. So Targa became again the Targa from the 1960s. The prayers of all car enthusiasts in the world were finally heard and the iconic rear window was reintroduced but with a modern twist. Compared with the first generations, the opening system is fully automatic and it provides a real show to be enjoyed preferably from outside. The huge rear window rises while the soft half top is folded and goes behind the rear seats. The system continues at the new 911 Targa but, of course, Porsche found details to be improved. The opening or closing operation takes now only 19 seconds thanks to its more powerful actuators. Also when the roof is open, the driver can choose to manually erect a wind deflector integrated in the cowl panel frame which significantly reduces draughts in the car’s interior, most effectively between 50 and 145 km/h.
The new 911 Targa is linked to a glamorous past but it is for sure the smartest 911 Targa that ever existed. How else? Starting with small details like the car “seeing” if there is an obstacle in the area around 50 centimetres behind the vehicle and cancelling the opening of closing of the roof. The explanation is that during the operation the rear window swivels out beyond the rear of the vehicle. And there is much more into the futuristic character of 911 even if we are talking a design kept almost identical for almost 60 years. The new Targa benefits from all the new technologies introduced by the eighth generation of 911. It sits better on the road thanks to a further developed all-wheel drive system and to the enhanced Porsche Traction Management. Targa receives a much wider body – 45 mm – compared with its processor. As for all the new 911s, Targa uses mixed tyres. Targa 4 gets 19 inch wheels in the front and 20 inch wheels in the back while the more powerful Targa 4S is equipped with 20 inch fronts and 21-inch rears. And before putting to much technical details into otherwise a beautiful romantic story, it is worth mentioning that Targa comes in standard with the Porsche Active Suspension Management as a “brain” to electronically adapt the rigidity of the suspension so it perfectly fits the driving situation. And of course, also in standard there is the revolutionary Wet Mode where sensors in the front wheel arches “hear” when there is too much water on the road so that the car knows to keep you safe while giving you the impression that you are a better driver.
Back to the driving pleasure, the 3,0 l boxer engine of both Targa 4 and Targa 4S shares its power via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission – the already famous PDK – but there is also a manual transmission as a no extra cost option. The 911 Targa 4S can please the purists with a seven-speed manual gearbox which includes the Sport Chrono package. For the rest, there is the pleasure coming from the upgraded interior of the 8th generation. As for the Coupe and the Cabriolet, the new Targa offers a new digital instruments cluster sending back to the simplicity of the new 911. The modern side is revealed around the central 10,9 inch display of the Porsche Communication system where Porsche promises 100% connectivity. Interesting to know is that the smart navigation system can “see” up to 3 km in advance and prepare the car for the optimal ride, assisting the driver. The system also detects traffic situations and can also keep you below legal speed limits.
So while the car almost drives in your place, you have all the time to admire design details. So you need to make sure that you order all the special things now available. The new Targa is ready to please everybody, especially when clients ask assistance from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. Yes, those guys you show your favourite sneakers from childhood and they make your Targa exactly the same colours and textures!
By Constantin Bacheș