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Porsche 911 Targa 4S in the test

The Zuffenhausen-based car manufacturer is playing the retro card with the new Porsche Targa: Lots of glass and a noticeable roll bar are intended to remind of the ancestors from the 60s and 70s.

The Porsche Targa has a spectacular moment even when it is stationary. At the push of a button, the rear window rises and slides over the rear like a giant insect shell. Accompanied by the hum of the two electric motors, the cladding of the roll bar unfolds and the magnesium roof disappears in one go in the rear well before the rear window moves back to its original position. This complex metamorphosis from coupé to topless athlete is completed in just 19 seconds.

Back to the roots

When closed and open, the new 911 Targa looks significantly better than its predecessor, which in Porsche jargon is only called the 911 with the sliding glass roof. Back to the roots is the motto for the new coupé-convertible hybrid. After all, none other than Ferry Porsche himself gave his placet in 1963 for the then new model, which celebrated its world premiere two years later at the IAA and came onto the market again two years later.

Of the around 853,000 Porsche 911s sold worldwide, around 13 percent are Targas. At the beginning of the 1970s, cars with the roll bar experienced a heyday. The share of the total 911 volume was a whopping 40 percent. In all optical retrospectives, the engineers borrowed technical information from the convertible when developing the Targas. The substructure is the same.

40 kilos heavier than the convertible

The clearly visible difference lies in the roll bar and the weight. The Targa is 40 kilograms heavier than the convertible. Compared to the coupe it is already 110 kilograms. This is reflected in measurable values. The 400 PS Targa with PDK and Sport Plus package completes the sprint from zero to 100 km / h in 4.4 seconds.

That is 0.3 seconds more than the coupé. The consumption of 9.2 liters is almost identical to the closed version. >>

The youngest member of the 911 family cuts a fine figure in terms of agility and, thanks to the precise, communicative steering, can confidently circle around the corner. But the better is the enemy of the good. You notice the extra fat in the latest 911, which is only available as an all-wheel drive version, i.e. with the wider splendid rear, in the limit area.

Elaborate roof mechanics on the Targa

When turning in, the Targa is slower and in very fast corners it pushes a little more outwards than the closed version. These attempts at self-determination are reliably prevented by the all-wheel drive in conjunction with the control systems. The background noise is typical of Porsche: If you set the Targa with the optional Sport Plus package sharp, not only is the throttle response more immediate, the steering more direct and the gear changes faster, but the four-pipe exhaust system thuds wonderfully when you take it off. "The Targa is for drivers who do not go to the racetrack. Who would otherwise buy the Coupé," says series manager August Achleitner, who insists on cars that have covered the test distance of 160,000 kilometers After all, the roof mechanics are complex and the rear window, including the frame, weighs around 33 kilograms. It only works when the car is stationary.

One main reason is that when the roof is moved, the brake lights are partially covered. This is a security issue. The engineers in Weißach and Zuffenhausen have been working on the new roof since 2006. >>

Stiff breeze in the interior

But anyone who now believes that the Targa repeats the aquarium feeling of its predecessor due to the high proportion of glass is fundamentally mistaken. When the roof is open, a stiff breeze blows in the interior, whirling up the carefully executed hair of the female companion. The rough breeze increases the further you move the seat backwards. In order to reduce the turbulence and the resulting background noise at least to some extent, the technicians installed a manually deployable spoiler on the windshield based on the Mercedes E-Class model. Design purists therefore whistle on the plastic bars and prefer to enjoy the extra hairdryer. When the hair swirls in front of the face, it is good that the modern Porsche enthusiast can blindly find his way around the interior. Everything is in its usual place. Only with the infotainment system could the sports car manufacturer from Zuffenhausen slowly go a step further. There are more modern solutions. Especially since the Porsche Targa 911 4S is not a bargain: With a base price of 124,094 euros, the semi-open version is 11,781 euros more expensive than the coupé and 952 euros cheaper than the convertible.

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