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2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4 Review

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Mathieu St-Pierre
Targa Montreal!
No, the fantastic event that is the Targa Newfoundland has not found a new home. If ever it did, I would sell a kidney and my liver (I can stop drinking whenever I want!) for an opportunity to participate in this gentleman's and woman's rallye extravaganza-galore event. So, if any manufacturer out there is looking for a driver... and a kidney, here I am.

Meant as a mid-way version of the 911, the Targa was created, in part, as an alternative to a convertible. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)

OK, I'm back! The Targa, yes the 911 Porsche Targa 4. The name Targa was first seen on a 911 in 1967, only two years after the 911 broke cover. Meant as a mid-way version of the 911, the Targa was created, in part, as an alternative to a convertible. Its removable roof panel and plastic rear window were what set it apart then. Today, the 997-series Targa sports a large glass roof that slides beneath the rear window, a trend that began with the 993 Targa from the mid-nineties.

Carrera vs Targa
So, all of this is nice (duh!) but does this wannabe 911 coupe behave as would a 911 Carrera around a track? Keep in mind that the Targa weighs in at 80 kg (or 176 lbs) more than the Carrera 4. This, and the fact that the extra weight finds itself overhead, therefore elevating the centre of gravity above that of the Coupe, could upset the Carrera's poise.

On a city street or highway for that matter, it would be nearly impossible to discern any gain in mass as most people (I do say most...) do not clip apexes when they turn up Yonge from Dundas or ride on two wheels when merging onto the 440 West from the 15 North. How do we figure this on out then? I've already said it: on a track. In a rare opportunity, I got to punch the 911 Targa 4 at Sanair, a well-known track east of Montreal and at Calabogie, a relatively new motorsports park north-west of Ottawa.

Carrera vs Targa part II
First, let it be known that there are but subtle differences between the Carrera 4 and Targa 4, consisting in the badging and glass roof. This then, means that they both share the 3.6L flat 6-cylinder engine that puts out 345 hp and 288 lb-ft of torque. As we all know, “4” stands for AWD and, as with all 911s, a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard. Four-piston alloy callipers and ventilated brake discs find themselves on the pair.

The Carrera 4 and Targa 4 share the 3.6L flat 6-cylinder engine that puts out 345 hp and 288 lb-ft of torque. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)
Mathieu St-Pierre
Mathieu St-Pierre
Automotive expert
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