Fast turnover for 911

Core model re­newal is com­plete for the Targa 4 range, writes PAUL GOVER in Italy

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

ALL com­pa­nies like to talk about a record turnover, one that is usu­ally re­flected in sales and prof­its. But Porsche has done it dif­fer­ently. Its new record is re­flected in the lat­est full fam­ily of 911 mod­els.

The ar­rival of the new­est 911 Targa means Porsche has com­pletely re­newed its core mod­els with a Se­ries II up­date that brings ev­ery­thing from di­rect fuel in­jec­tion to a PDK dou­ble-clutch gear­box in less than six months.

That is about one-third of the time it usu­ally takes to re­new a 911.

It re­flects strong global de­mand for the Ger­man sports car icon and the need to clear next year for the ar­rival of the im­por­tant new lux­ury Panam­era and a preview of the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Cayenne SUV.

Porsche found some late-sea­son sun­shine on the shores of Lake Garda in north­ern Italy to roll out the glass-roof Targa, which picks up all the lat­est 911 up­date gear, in­clud­ing a more ef­fec­tive slid­ing fab­ric cover.

It is the only hatch­back in the 911 range, and uses a Targa sys­tem that op­er­ates as a con­tin­u­ous glasshouse from the top of the wind­screen to the en­gine cover. The roof panel drops and slides back in­side the roof in a sweet piece of elec­tric en­gi­neer­ing.

The Targa comes as one of the most heav­ily loaded mod­els in the 911 range. It is sold only with all-wheel drive and Porsche’s wide-body rear end. That means an Aus­tralian start­ing price of $258,600, though that’s likely to rise be­fore the first of the Se­ries II cars lands next year.

The Targa is ex­pected to snare 10 per cent of 911 sales in Aus­tralia.

‘‘This is one of the most at­trac­tive 911s. It is the per­fect com­bi­na­tion,’’ 911 de­vel­op­ment chief Au­gust Ach­leit­ner says.

The ba­sic Targa 4 comes with 254kW from its 3.6-litre en­gine. The 4S jumps to 283kW with its 3.8, though fuel use is as low as 10.6 litres/100km in com­bined test­ing, de­spite a top speed of 297km/h.

Sky’s the limit: the glass-roofed Targa hatch­back is tipped to snare 10 per cent of 911 sales.

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