2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Like its model brothers, the Porsche 911 Targa has been given a makeover. Our test shows whether it is good for the sports car with its XXL sliding glass roof.
By Wolfgang Gomoll
Porsche purists, for whom rear-wheel drive is an irrevocable dogma, must now be really brave. The Porsche 911 Targa is only available in the all-wheel drive version. That makes it a “no go” for friends of the Zuffenhausen tradition of driving sideways: Not fish and not meat, so not coupé and not convertible, is the nosy labeling of the glass dome vehicle with XXL sliding roof by the orthodox 911 disciples.
Such views do not disturb Erhard Mössle. "I do not think so. For me, the 911 Targa is the perfect synthesis of convertible and coupé for customers for whom one model is too open and the other too closed,”explains the overall project manager for the Porsche Turbo, Carrera 4 and Targa 4 series.
Ten percent of 911 customers are said to opt for the Targa. “Targa riders enjoy cruising and the landscape,” says Mössle, a wiry man with bright blue eyes who likes to ride a mountain bike. That's why the Targa is equipped with a comfortable chassis, i.e. slightly softer springs and dampers. Anyone who orders the glass house Porsche with adaptive PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management, standard for Targa 4S otherwise 1547 euros extra charge) has something of both worlds. Comfort is noticeable in normal mode. The chassis filters standard bumps quite confidently. But a Porsche will never be a sedan chair a la Citroën DS. The Zuffenhausen people's love of comfort doesn't go that far. And that's just as well. Anyone who drives a Porsche wants to be informed about the condition of the asphalt.
PDK increases driving pleasure
Because even in comfort mode, the Targa can be moved fairly dynamically. The PDK dual clutch transmission (Porsche dual clutch transmission) makes a significant contribution to this. It increases driving fun with imperceptible gear changes, but always gives the driver the choice between relaxed gliding and a sporty driving style with manual shifting.
The "Sport" version goes one better. Curves then become a joy. The all-wheel drive taken over from the Porsche Turbo plays a significant role and distributes the power between the front and rear axles at lightning speed (maximum 100 milliseconds) depending on the driving situation. In this way, even moderately gifted pilots can tame the 340 (Targa 4) or 385 HP (Targa 4S) of the 6-cylinder boxer engine. The four-wheel drive also ironed out major errors that would have led to brutal cold deformation in earlier models. Despite all these little technical helpers, the 911 Targa still remains a Porsche. Only true experts notice a difference to the coupé. This is also confirmed by Porsche chief tester Walter Röhrl.
After all, at 1530 kilograms, the Targa is around 52 kilograms heavier than the coupé. The lion's share of the extra bacon goes on the glass roof. But anyone who has ever sat in a Targa is happy to accept this supposed shortcoming. Especially in bad weather, the glass dome spreads a good mood due to the additional light. Heat-absorbing panes ensure that the greenhouse does not mutate into a subtropical greenhouse. “That was a requirement of the hot markets,” explains Mössle. If that is still not enough, you can extend an electric sun blind that absorbs 96 percent of the light. With the predecessor it was only 50 percent.
Open in seven seconds
But even a Targa is only really fun when open. Even then, the Targa is still Toupee compatible. Even at high speeds, no real storm blows through the typical Porsche interior. Has a bit of an aquarium feeling. The 1.54 square meter ceiling disappears under the rear window within seven seconds. Incidentally, it can be opened separately when the roof is closed. That makes the Targa unique among the 911s. With the rear seat folded down, there is storage space of 230 liters. You can almost speak of utility.
The Targa also cooks its own 911 soup in terms of design. The roof line is decorated with a chrome strip from the A-pillar and falls more slowly towards the rear than on the Coupé and ends in a more pointed bend. Since the rear is 44 millimeters wider than the standard 911 due to the standard all-wheel drive, it helps the glass Porsche to have a terrific buttocks. This is only emphasized by the rear light strip and the LED rear lights. You already know that from the other post-facelift 911 models, as well as the front with LED daytime running lights.
Of course, the people of Zuffenhausen are rewarded for this grandiose view. A Targa costs at least 97,907 euros and is therefore 8330 euros more expensive than a Carrera 4 Coupé. But this surcharge shouldn't matter much to the Sanguinker target group. The Targa driver is a little older and also a little more solvent than the “normal” Porsche driver. Well then. Welcome to the glass dome.