By: IOL Motoring Staff
Detroit Motor Show - Making its debut on the Porsche stand at this week's Detroit motor show is the latest addition to the iconic 911 sports coupé family: the 911 Targa.
While Porsche-spotters will recognise cues from the classic Targa, introduced in the late 1960s, this one comes with an ingenious new twist. Just like the original, the new Targa has a wide roll-bar in place of the B-pillars behind the doors, a removable roof section above the driver and passenger, and a wrap-around rear window with no C-pillar.
But, unlike the classic version, you don't have to get out, unclip the roof, lift it off and put it away in the boot - just press a button and the roof automatically folds up and stows itself behind the rear seats.
Rear-biased Porsche Traction Management all-wheel drive is standard for optimum driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all weather conditions; in fact, up to the window line the new Targa is virtually identical to the Carrera 4 Cabriolet - but the wide rear body that's typical of all-wheel drive 911 models, the roof bar and the dome-shaped rear window combine to create a distinctively sporty profile that makes the Targa very much its own car.
The roof has two movable parts: a fabric soft top and a glass rear window. The rear window, which is attached to the convertible top compartment lid, is opened and tilted at the push of a button. At the same time, two flaps open in the Targa bar, the soft top is released, folded into a Z-shape as it opens, and drops into a stowage area running across the car behind the rear seats.
Then the rear window moves back in to position - all of which takes about 19 seconds in either direction and can only be done when the car is standing still.
There's also a wind deflector in the cowl panel frame that can be erected manually when the top is down, noticeably reducing drafts and buffeting inside the car.
When it's up, the fabric section is stretched tight by a magnesium roof shell and panel bow. It has an extra layer of sound-absorbing material to reduce road noise when the roof is closed, which also serves as a thermal insulator, and a headliner of black fabric to match the black alcantara interior trim of the Targa roof bar.
The rear edge of the soft top connects up to the fixed Targa bar, which has steel roll-over protection inside and painted cast-alloy trim elements outside, with three gills and 'targa' lettering on the sides of the bar as a nod to the original 1965 Targa model.
The rear window is made from two layers of thin, partially pre-tensioned glass separated by a film interlayer, with very fine heating elements covering almost the entire surface of the glass to ensure a clear rear view even in unfavourable weather conditions.
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON
The new Targa comes in two flavours, each Euro 6-compliant, with a seven-speed manaual 'box and all-wheel drive as standard.
The Targa 4 has a 257kW. 3.4-litre flat-six that's good for a claimed 0-100 in 4.8 seconds and 282km/h flat out, when ordered with the optional PDK double-clutch transmission and Sport Chrono Package, at a cost of 8.7 to 9.5 litres per 100km, depending on which transmission you've asked for.
Want more? The Targa 4S delivers a quoted 294kW from its 3.8-litre 'boxer', and Porsche says it will do 0-100 in 4.4 seconds and top out at 296km/h, while burning 9.2 to 10.04 litres per 100km on the NEDC cycle, depending on transmission type.\
BELLS AND WHISTLES
Standard kit includes leather trim, sports seats, automatic climate control, bi-xenon headlights, 180mm colour touch-screen with satellite navigation, digital radio, a universal audio interface with MP3 connectivity and 19” alloys.
The Targa 4S adds 20” rims, active suspension, and torque vectoring via a limited-slip rear differential.
The new 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S models are available for order in South Africa now, with the first units scheduled for delivery in May 2014. SA prices will be announced soon.