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2010 Porsche 911 Targa 4 Review

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Mathieu St-Pierre
Targa Montreal!
As tested, my Targa 4 came loaded with a few must-have goodies, such as Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Sport Chrono Package Plus and the ultra-cool Sports Exhaust System. Perhaps the only option I would have added to the mix is the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB).

And now for serious stuff. What's really amazing about this Porsche, or any Porsche for that matter, is their versatility. Last winter, we discovered first-hand that Boxsters and Caymans can easily be driven in the winter. My late-spring week spent with the Targa 4 took me grocery shopping (front trunk plus “ahem” back seat), on long highway cruises to the track, on the track and, more importantly back, and without ever having bat an eyelash. Should the test have occurred in winter, hey, it's a 4!

The Sanair Complex is not renowned for its clean surfaces and smooth stretches. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)

At the track

Speaking of the track, the Sanair Complex is not renowned for its clean surfaces and smooth stretches. In most situations, the Targa did little but cope with the changing tarmac conditions but, on a few occasions where rapid-fire switchbacks were on the menu, the car became somewhat twitchy. This is not unusual for the rear-engined car, however, and as a side-note, the Volkswagen GTI I was also tracking displayed none of these characteristics.

Calabogie is a very different track where stretches are short and corners are never-ending. The Targa's rear-weight bias was constantly kept in-check so long as throttle modulation remained linear. Nowhere on this circuit did the 911 have the shakes, but it could never match the prowess of the Boxster Spyder that I also tracked on the same day.

Revelations
Three items really came to the surface after both events. First, the non-S is quick but far from offering the neck-snapping acceleration inherent in an S. For the money, I'd go S every time. Second, the car’s brakes were flawless! Flawless I say! Sanair has a long straight where ¼-mile runs are performed and where I would regularly reach 200 km/h, but whaling on the middle pedal would kill the car's momentum every time. Never did the brakes let me down or have me in doubt. The GTI and Mazdaspeed3 (also tracked at the same time) did very poorly by comparison. And lastly, I was somewhat let-down by the steering's lack of bite. Perhaps it had to do with my back-to-back drives with the Spyder, but the 911's steering felt light.

The car’s brakes were flawless! Flawless I say! (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)
Mathieu St-Pierre
Mathieu St-Pierre
Automotive expert
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