Targa 911s here in October
Porsche’s glorified sunroof models, the Targa 911s, will soon benefit from the switch to direct injection and PDK gearboxes.
Porsche 911 Targa 4
3.6-litre, 3.8-litre flat-six
Zero To Hundred
Porsche goes clean
The worlds most profitable manufacturer per car is as weary as any of stifling legislation which could curtail its ability to market the cars which made it the pre-eminent performance car brand it has become – witness the recent VW buy-out shenanigans between Porsche and Wolfsburg.
Fortunately Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking is as an engineer by training and he is meeting emissions and fuel-consumption legislation challenges with quality engineering.
South Africa bound in the spring, the new Targa models in the 911 range will be both fast and efficient.
The standard 3.6-litre Targa 4 and 3.8-litre Targa 4S both benefit the recent move to direct injection. Power increases from 239kW to 254kW on the Carrera and by 22kW from 261kW to 283kW in the 'S' version.
Both engines are now Euro 5 emission compliant with fuel consumption down by an aggregate 7.1% whilst power increases have been 7.35%. Standard 911 Targa tops out at 284 km/h, while the 911 Targa 4S, displacing 3.8 litres and developing maximum output of 283 kW and achieves a top speed of 297km/h.
An exciting new feature which should add dynamic verve to the 911 range is the Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) gearbox.
It's Porsche's double-clutch, direct-shift gearbox. A seven-speed unit, the new gearbox combines the driving comfort of a converter automatic transmission with the dynamic gearshift of a sequential racing gearbox, and replaces the tiptronic gearbox in the entry level 911 range.
Utilising two wet clutches in a radial arrangement, it uses oil for both cooling and lubrication, with one clutch responsible for managing even gears (2,4,6) and the other uneven gears (1,3,5,7) and reverse.
Hydraulically actuated, the PDK transmission weighs 10kg less than a conventional tiptronic transmission.
Both Targa models (being all-wheel drive) now benefit from electronically controlled Porsche Traction Management (PTM), which replaces the former all-wheel drive system with its viscous multiple-plate clutch.
PTM is regarded as the superior system, feeding in precise ratios of engine power and traction additionally to the front wheels in every driving situation through an electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch.
The visual highlight of the 911 Targa (depending on your appreciation of design aesthetics), is the 1.54-square-metre glass roof made up of two segments, featuring an elegant sliding roof at the front whilst retaining the practical tailgate.
When opened completely, the roof slides beneath the tailgate within seven seconds, offering an open space above the passenger compartment of 0.45 square metres.
The sliding roof comes as standard with a new sunblind offering even greater privacy before. The glass roof and the tailgate are constructed from special anti-sunglare glass, protecting the occupants even in bright sunshine from UV radiation and excessive heat.
If you have a sunroof fetish or don’t like convertibles and are keen on a compromise, Targa is definitely the ticket. All the extra glass surfacing does yield a surfeit of rearward visibility which makes parallel parking a breeze – if that is the kind of design feature which matters to you when considering a performance car.
With the new direct-injection 911 engines due locally in September – with the accompanying PDK gearboxes – the Targa models are to follow in October.
911 Targa 4 R1 275 000
911 Targa 4 S R1 375 000