Rory Reid reviews the Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS, a car that makes absolutely no sense on paper, but ends up falling for it anyway.
Porsches are instantly recognisable because the overall design rarely changes, so when we first saw the 911 Targa 4 GTS we were instantly drawn to it. It's got the trademark curves and swoops, that's for sure, but its retro touches make it unique.
Whereas the new 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S have gone for an aggressive, 'get out of my way' stance, the 911 Targa 4 GTS is elegant, uncluttered and gentle. Suffice to say, it gets serious amounts of positive attention from passers-by, especially when the folding roof does its thing so elegantly.
Don't be fooled by its soft looks, though. Underneath the lengthy bonnet and bug-eyed front headlights lies a 3.8-litre flat-six that generates 430 horses and 440Nm of torque. That and its four-wheel drive system make it capable of 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds with the seven-speed PDK automatic.
That may be a far cry from the sub-three second sprint of the new 911 Turbo S, but it's extremely capable in the corners (even though it's heavier) and less of a handful – even on a rainy day. Like the Boxster, it makes you feel like you are a good driver even if you are actually a bit ham-fisted.
It does have a few faults, like the 20-second wait for the roof to open and close when stationary. Then there's the rear seats, which are really only suitable for people who can dangle their legs off a kerb.
But for all of its foibles, the 911 Targa 4 GTS is an absolute blast to drive to the point where rear passengers, who will have lost all feeling in their head and legs, would still be smiling. Rory says it's better than the Jaguar F-Type. That in itself speaks volumes.
So while it may fill a gap that never really existed, it's a car we would buy in an instant. Put the roof down, push all the way to its rev limit of 7,800rpm and embrace German engineering at its finest.
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