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911 Targa 4S 3.4 Exclusive Edition – 400 ch

Video: A history of the Porsche 911 Targa

 

In 2017, the Porsche 911 Targa – the original open top Neunelfer – will reach its 50th birthday, a remarkable milestone for a model that was originally devised to meet safety regulations that were, ultimately, never implemented.

To celebrate the upcoming anniversary, we’ve decided to look back over the Targa’s half a century of history in our latest video, taking you through the evolution of the model from 1967 right through to the latest 991.2 Targa 4S.

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Our five-minute flick also stars a 1974 Porsche 911 Targa from esteemed specialist, Canford Classics, the original impact bumper iteration showing how the latest open-top Neunelfers has both changed and been inspired by Zuffenhausen’s iconic roll hoop design.

We’ve put the two idiosyncratic roof systems to the test too and, if you missed our road trip with the 991.2 version in Total 911 issue 142, Features Editor, Josh gives you his opinion from behind the wheel of the new 911 Targa to see if turbocharging has improved the alfresco driving experience.

For more of the latest and best Porsche 911 videos, check out our dedicated film section now.

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Official: 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Design Edition

Over the course of last weekend the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix took place at the famous Nürburgring in the German Eifel. Porsche attended the oldtimer event as well and took the opportunity to reveal a special edition of their Porsche 911 Targa 4S: the new Exclusive Design Edition. The modern classic of the 911 range…

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Official: 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Exclusive Design Edition

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Actualité : Porsche 911 Targa Exclusive Design Edition

Porsche Exclusive, le département personnalisation du constructeur de Stuttgart, va profiter du AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix qui se déroulera ce week-end…

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Evolution of the Porsche 911 Targa

There was always an open-top Porsche: Ferry’s first model was an open barchetta and if production realities soon dictated a closed design, it was only a couple of years before a convertible 356 appeared.

This was a vital model, especially in the US, for which Porsche’s gung-ho distributor Max Hoffman persuaded Zuffenhausen to build the Speedster, as featured in issue 128 of Total 911. By the late 1950s, consideration of the 356’s successor was in full swing at Porsche.

Between the competing designs of Erwin Komenda (Porsche’s long standing body engineer who saw himself as carrying the beacon for the late Professor Porsche), Ferry’s son Butzi who represented the first generation of automobile stylists, and Ferry’s own preferences, little thought was given to an open car.

Original 911 Targa

Moreover, high development costs of the 901 Coupé meant there was little in the way of budget left to invest in a convertible model.

The other concern at that time was the controversy in America, stirred up by Ralph Nader, about whether car manufacturers were putting users’ lives at risk with fundamentally unsafe cars.

In particular, the Chevrolet Corvair (a flat six rear engine design) had been singled out, as had the VW Microbus. In the general uncertainty, it was also unclear whether the US authorities were going to ban open cars. It was dissuasive enough: Porsche would develop an alternative to the Cabriolet which would be the birth of the Targa.

Porsche 991 Targa

Porsche’s experiments with open prototypes had already demonstrated that some sort of ‘roll hoop’ did manage to restore rigidity. Therefore, the ‘alternative cabrio’ would have this roll hoop and it became a question of what it would look like and how it would be incorporated.

Schröder, who had built 356 cabrios at Karmann, said that the most important detail at this stage was “to make this roll bar look right.” Having agreed on the aesthetics, they could then strengthen it as much as necessary.

To read the rest of our Porsche 911 Targa history, pick up issue 130 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device.

Porsche 911 Targas

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Porsche Exclusive reveals ultra-rare 911 Targa 4S and customised Cayman S

911 Targa 4S Exclusive Mayfair Edition and Exclusive Cayman S spec lists revealed

Porsche’s personalisation arm, Porsche Exclusive, has confirmed the production of 10 bespoke examples of the 911 Targa 4S. Only available to order from the carmaker’s London Mayfair showroom, the Targa 4S Exclusive gains several performance and styling features as standard.

Heading the list is the Powerkit, which ups power from 394bhp to 424bhp and adds a more vocal sports exhaust. Power is sent to all four wheels via Porsche’s fast-changing PDK gearbox as standard, while the addition of the Sport Chrono package adds dynamic engine mounts and a dash-mounted stopwatch.

The chassis also receives Porsche’s dynamic chassis control (PDCC) – a system that counters body roll and minimises body movement during lateral direction changes – and ceramic composite brakes as standard, while adaptive sports seats help to keep passengers in place during fast cornering.

To set the Mayfair Targa 4S apart from its more common siblings, Porsche Exclusive lettering is added to the car’s seat centres, while 20-inch Sport Classic wheels come painted in black and LED headlights are included. On top of this, buyers can extensively customise features like interior stitching, leather trim, embossing and seat belt buckle colours.

Completing the specs list is an ungraded Burmester sound system, a personalised leather key pouch and photobook for each car.

While the 911 Targa 4S isn’t the sharpest of 911s in standard form, its structure is more rigid than the entirely roofless convertible, making for sharper handling and better refinement.

With so few examples of the bespoke Targa 4S for sale, its price is suitably large – it starts at £148,849.10, close to £50,000 more than the standard Targa 4S.

Watch Porsche’s Exclusive Targa 4S promo video below.

Exclusive Cayman S

Porsche Exclusive has also revealed three bespoke versions of the Cayman S to demonstrate its customisation potential. With a range of colours and trim available for parts both inside and out, it’s possible for buyers to use Porsche Exclusive’s service to create an entirely bespoke Cayman S.

To set the car apart from the regular model, the Exclusive’s exterior gains black paint on the headlight washers, lower half of the mirrors, spokes of the 20-inch SportTechno wheels and side air intakes. Cayman S lettering on the doors is also coloured in black, while the taillights gain light tinting to match.

Inside, the dials and Sport Chrono stopwatch are painted in the car’s exterior colour, as is the centre console trim that surrounds the gear lever, door and dash trim. The vent slats and rear-view mirror are now wrapped in leather, and between the passengers, the storage lid now wears Porsche embossing.

Just three exterior colours are presented – white, Agate Grey Metallic and Racing Yellow – the last of which also comes with yellow seatbelts. But while it certainly looks racy, this car’s yellow dash trim might be a little too garish for some buyers’ tastes.

Since it’s based on the Cayman S, Exclusive cars still utilise power from the same 321bhp and 273lb ft of torque 3.4-litre flat-six ensuring performance remains unchanged – the Cayman S can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in an evo tested 4.5sec (three tenths faster than listed) and onto a claimed top speed of 175mph.

We’re fans of the car at evo, having enjoyed its planted yet playful chassis and surprisingly feelsome electric power steering on our tests. The gearing is admittedly a tad too long, but only because it reduces the amount of time you can spend winding out the Cayman’s silky toned naturally aspirated flat-six. 

We’re yet to confirm the exact pricing of these Exclusive Cayman Ss, but given the extent of customisation on offer, we can safely assume even the most basic Exclusive will comfortably surpass the regular car’s £48,783 list price.


Sam Sheehan

10 Aug 2015
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