The 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S: A classic in waiting
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The new Porsche 911 Targa 4S is the stuff dreams are made of
Lurking in the dream garage of car enthusiasts is a classic car; that vehicle you'll take out for weekend drives, that'll have other drivers smile as you drive by.
In reality, classic cars need a lot of love, a lot of technical know-how (or money) to keep them running, and you have the eventual realisation that you actually do like actually air con, FM radio and power steering!
My dream garage has a couple of classic cars, including a 1970s Porsche 911 Targa. I love the shape of the car and the fact my rear passengers could ride in comfort without the wind whipping their hair around.
Porsche introduced the Targa top - a rollover hoop and folding screen roof - in the 1960s to combat a threat in the US to ban all convertibles over safety fears.
The Targa roof took off due to the fact it gave you a convertible drive but with the extra convenience of a shelter. Since its launch in 1965, 13 per cent of 911 models sold are Targa.
2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S
But the downside to those older models was that you had to remove the Targa roof yourself, rather than retract it with the push of lever, or these days, push of a button.
But that's all changed. The 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S has the an electric roof that pops up and back into the boot without you have having to get out to the car.
Auckland | Auckland City
$754.97 p/w $3,019.89 p/m
But it's the pop back bit that you have to be wary of as you need room behind you for the function to work, though thankfully parking sensors let you know if there is an object too close. You also have to be stopped for the roof to work.
Priced from $256,000 for the Targa 4S, my test model had such optional extras as the black leather interior, heated front seats, 20in Carrera alloys and park assist (front and rear) that pushed the final price tag to $275,055.
The Targa, with similar foundations as the 911 cabriolet, gets Porsche's all-wheel drive system, giving it a firm, sedate ride on the road.
And due to the Targa roof electronics, the weight is 1575kg (40kg more than the cabriolet).
While the Targa roof may be a draw card, it's the subtle performance of the 3.8-litre engine (with 295kW of power and 440Nm of torque) that cements the fans.
Within 4.4 seconds you're at 100km/h - though I couldn't quite match that figure when myself and a fellow Targa fan went for a spin on Auckland's Southern Motorway. I took off from the onramp traffic light's green signal and had made 100km/h within five seconds - and I had only just hit in fourth gear.
While other recently launched sports cars may have attention-grabbing exhaust notes (I'm talking to you Jaguar F-Type and BMW's M3), the Targa 4S is more of a warning of the potential for bad behaviour than a 'look at me, look at me' sound.
The steering is precise with a solid, reassuring feel, and add the PDK clutch system to the deal and you get impressive acceleration.
The downside is the limited rear passenger room. Though it may be a 2 + 2 , the reality is that the back seat is only suitable for school kids or handbags and briefcases.
I forced my petite 1.52m teenage daughter to test the back seat and even she had to swivel her body and bend her neck to fit.
Though another Porsche purist told me that she's forced her friends into the back seat and they'd have to live with the discomfort. Another space problem is that due to the folding rear and rear engine configuration, you're limited to a deep but narrow storage space under the front bonnet.
2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S
Then again, you can always use that rear seat to store extra bags.
But such negatives don't detract from the fact the 2015 Targa 4S is another classic car in the making to add to your dream garage.