Porsche Targa: since 1965 the story has been told – La Gazzetta dello Sport

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The new 450 HP Porsche 911 Targa 4 and 4S arriving on the market in August gather the legacy and charm of the first Targa from the mid-sixties

Savina Confaloni

& Commat; savinaconfaloni

The new Porsche 911 Targa, arriving in August in the 385 HP and 450 HP 4S versions, continues the tradition of the first Targa of the mid-sixties, when the Zuffenhausen house launched a model at the Frankfurt Motor Show that could not be defined neither a convertible nor a coupe, but a completely new car. It was the first ‘safety cabrio’ in the world, equipped with a fixed protection band, or roll bar.

Porsche Targa, THE NEW OPEN AIR GUIDE

The 1965 Targa construction concept marked the beginning of a new driving experience aboard a Porsche, reused not only for subsequent generations of the 911, but also for other models such as the 914 or the Carrera GT. The new model changed the approach to open air driving: thanks to a removable roof section and a folding plastic rear window, you could enjoy the car in different ways depending on the weather and mood, with the roof completely open, closed, or only with the central part of the roof open or with the rear window folded down.

THE NAME IN MEMORY OF THE FLORIO PLATE

The new construction concept was introduced by Porsche to meet the more stringent safety requirements imposed for convertibles on the American market. When choosing the name of the new car, we concentrated on the most successful car circuits for the Stuttgart company, and from there we immediately came to the Targa Florio. Porsche had achieved great results on the Sicilian Madonie circuit since the mid-1950s; initially the first name seemed to be “911 Florio”, until Harald Wagner, head of sales on the domestic market, hastened the decision by asking a question: “Why don’t we just call it Targa?”.

THE TARGA PATENT

In August 1965 Porsche filed for a patent on the Targa concept and starting in the autumn of 1966 the Targa supplemented the Coupe of the 911, 911 S and 912, enjoying great success. From the end of the summer of 1967 it was possible to order the Targa models also with the option of a fixed and heated rear window, made of safety glass instead of foldable plastic. Only a year later, this optional solution became part of the standard equipment and remained so, more or less unchanged, until 1993.

DIFFERENT PLATE FOR G SERIES MODELS

The history of the Targa continued in the range of products of the second generation of the 911, namely the G series which debuted at the end of the summer of 1973. The bodywork was made a modification that would remain over time, with the new bumpers with colored side bumpers black which made the car compliant with the new US regulations, absorbing impacts at speeds of up to 8 km / h without any damage to the bodywork. Instead, no changes to the characteristics of the roof of the Targa, except for an aesthetic modification with the introduction of a black variant of the long-lasting brushed stainless steel roll bar. Even when, in January 1983, with the 911 SC Cabrio, a Porsche that could be driven even when the roof was completely uncovered was once again included in the product range, the Targa remained a fixed constant that survived even at the end of the production of the G series, in 1989.

THE PLATE REMAINS A CLASSIC EVEN WITH THE 964

In the autumn of 1988 Porsche introduced the first all-wheel drive 911 with the 911 Carrera 4 Type 964, which represents the third generation of the iconic sports car from the Zuffenhausen company. The classic body shape of the 911 remains the same, despite about 85% of the car being renewed. Already the following year, the other three versions Coupé, Cabriolet and Targa joined the classic rear-wheel drive of the 911 Carrera 2. The 911 Carrera 2 Targa and the 911 Carrera 4 Targa, produced until 1993, continue to be characterized by the classic Targa roll bar and the central section of the removable roof. The Targa specimens built within the first three generations of the 911 total 87,663.

THE FOURTH GENERATION OF 911

With the fourth generation of the 911 Type 993, a new body profile was introduced in the autumn of 1993 and, from November 1995, a new Targa concept as well. For the first time in the history of the 911, the front fenders are wider and flatter, as well as the rear fenders are wider, flowing towards the rear section with a more linear profile.

THE CRYSTAL ROOF REPLACES THE ROLL BAR

In addition to being distinguished by the significant improvements made to the engine and chassis, the 993 generation interprets the Targa concept in a totally different way, eliminating the typical roll bar. The car roof is made of heat-insulated darkened glass, and extends from the windshield frame to the rear section, enclosed within a longitudinal safety structure: made up of several electrically operated segments, it opens simply by pressing a button and slides backwards to fold behind the rear window. The main advantages of the new solution include a reduction in wind noise and a very bright interior even with the roof closed.

THE FIFTH GENERATION WITH THE NEW ENGINE

With the 911 Carrera Type 996, the fifth generation of the 911 was born in 1997. The car was completely redesigned and for the first time entrusted the power to the water-cooled six-cylinder boxer unit. The Targa model has been available since December 2001, together with the Coupé and Cabriolet versions, and like the previous model, the car is equipped with an electrically operated roof that now covers an area of ​​over 1.5 square meters. There has never been a Porsche 911 with such a large glass surface, and the new Targa is also the first 911 with a rear window that can be raised, an extremely practical detail that allows easy access to the rear luggage compartment with a load space of up to 230 liters. .

LIGHTNESS AND DESIGN IN 997

In September 2006, the sixth generation 911- 997- 911 Targa was presented within the family, available only in the two variants with all-wheel drive, Targa 4 and 4S. The roof line is essentially the same as that of the previous model, with the addition of a very functional rear hood. The use of a special glass allows the weight to be reduced by 1.9 kg, while two polished aluminum strips placed along the edges of the roof help to make the car’s line even more impactful.

THE RETURN OF THE ROLL BAR

With the seventh generation of 911, the 911 Targa was introduced in January 2014, which revisits the classic model in a modern key, and is proposed just like a new high-end edition of the classic 1965 sports car. The idea behind the classic Targa it is combined with a practical and modern sunroof: like the original Targa, the new model has the typical wide band that replaces the central pillars, a section of the movable roof above the front seats and a wraparound rear window without a rear pillar. However, unlike the classic models, the roof of the new Targa opens and closes simply by pressing a button: the fully automatic drive system folds the hard top back into the compartment behind the rear seats.

THE STORY ENDS ON THE WEB

For the first time, due to the blockages imposed by the pandemic, Porsche presented the new 911 Targa as a world preview on the web, through its Web TV channel (at www.911-magazin.porsche.com/de) telling the evolutions of a story that led to the launch of the second of the new models. With the new 911 Targa, the bodywork variants available for the 992 series are completed: the heart is the classic 3.0-liter six-cylinder boxer with 385 hp and 450 hp respectively in the Targa 4 and Targa 4S variants, with technical characteristics similar to those Coupé and Cabrio.

PORSCHE 911 TARGA 4 AND 4S

The 8-speed PDK automatic transmission was fitted as standard on the less performing version, while the 7-speed manual is also available on the 4S to enhance the sportiness of this model and brings the Sport Chrono package and the mechanical self-locking rear differential as a dowry. The Pdk variant reaches 100 km / h in 4.2 seconds (3.6 for the 4S) and reaches 289 km / h (304 for the 4S), while the manual 4S takes 4.4 seconds. Prices for Italy start at € 132,571 for the 4 and € 148,431 for the 4S.





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