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Porsche's 911 Targa glass-roofed sports car gets four-wheel drive for the first time in the new 997 model which goes on sale in New Zealand in late November.It will be offered her in both standard and S versions.

Both have glass roofs and opening hatch-style rear windows. A polished, anodised aluminium trim strip which the length of the roof frame emphasises the coupe profile.

The glass roof ensures a light, airy interior. Two electric motors can open it by up to half a metre in seven seconds, no matter what the road speed. The maximum roof opening area is 0.45 square metres. The roof panel is constructed of two-ply specially tinted glass, which is 1.9kg lighter than that used in the previous 996 Targa.

Wind noise is kept low, even at high speed, by a newly-developed sealing system. A wind deflector minimises turbulence inside the vehicle, allowing open-roofed driving even when the outside temperature is low. With the roof closed, a semi-translucent black cloth roller sunblind provides shade in hot weather. Both the glass roof and roller blind are operated by a rocker switch on the central console next to the handbrake lever.

The upward-tilting glass tailgate is supported by gas struts. The hatch makes loading the luggage area easier. There's a maximum luggage capacity of 230 litres with the rear seats folded. The tailgate can be released either by a switch on the driver’s door sill or by a button on the key fob.

The new Targa uses the same bodyshell as the 911 Carrera 4 and 4S coupe and cabriolet models, and is 44mm wider at the rear than two-wheel drive 911s.

The Targa's inner roof structure includes 30mm tubes made of ultra-strong steel to reinforce the A-pillars. Welded directly on to other tubes extending along the edge of the roof and resting on the body of the car via the B-pillars and at the bottom of the C-pillars, the special tubes ensure very good protection of the occupants even in a rollover. Targas have six airbags for maximum safety.

Engines and gearboxes

Porsche's flat six engine powers both Targa 4 models.
The standard car's 3.6-litre unit develops 239kW, giving 0-100km/h acceleration in 5.3 seconds and a top speed of 280km/h.

The more powerful S has a 3.8-litre motor producing 261kW, giving 4.9-second 0-100km/h acceleration, and a 287km/h top speed.

The Porsche VarioCam Plus valve control system deployed by both engines ensures generous pulling power across the rev range.

The 3.6-litre develops peak torque of 370Nm at 4250rpm; the S's 3.8-litre produces 400Nm at 4600rpm.
The engine is coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox with short, precise shift strokes or a five-speed Porsche Tiptronic S automatic with finger gearshift switches mounted on the steering-wheel spokes.

Engine power is transmitted by an all-wheel drive system with a Visco multi-plate clutch, which applies between five and 40 percent of the driving power to the front axle at all times. The system thereby ensures well-balanced propulsive power in bends, and improved traction even on wet or slippery roads.

Porsche Active Suspension Management, an option on the Targa 4 and standard on the 4S, offers a sporting but comfortable damper set-up in the Normal mode and switches to a dynamic and firm set-up once the driver presses the Sports button. In both positions the suspension adjusts to the driver's style and the road conditions, varying its control and operation maps within fractions of a second.

The Targa 4 runs 8J by 18-inch front wheels running on 235/40 ZR18 tyres; the 4S has 8J by 19-inch front wheels and 235/35 ZR19 tyres.

At the rear, the Targa 4 has 295/35 ZR18 tyres. The 4S rides on 305/30 ZR9s.

Both models have aluminium monobloc fixed calliper brakes with four pistons and cross-drilled, inner-vented brake discs. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes with composite ceramic discs approximately 50 percent lighter than comparable cast iron brake discs are available as an option.

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