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    997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures



    We had a 997 C4S Targa today for an extended test drive and I thought I'd share our experiences..

    Firstly, we were comparing this with one other we're considering, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. There's no question the Aston's prettier, absolutely none. It has drop dead looks to die for and a badge that speaks volumes, but driving it was disappointing, primarily in the power department and the build quality.

    Porsche's answer, although losing the 'looks competition is so much better on many levels. It was utterly superb!

    We both thought the car was excellent, both the 997 C4S experience and the roof. The big question from most people is "why not a cabriolet" as it's about the same price, but we've had a convertible for 3 years (Honda S2000 - GREAT car) and when touring we found we had the roof up a lot of the time. Either because it was too cold, or because it was too hot. The Targa allows you to be bathed in sunlight whilst being hot... or cold! We LOVED it! Thought it really worked. You can slide the roof off when going along and under 70 mph it doesn't buffet you at all (that means no bad hair days for the ladies!). It is extremely civilised and gives you all the benefits of a coupe and some of a cab.

    As for the question "does it rattle".. yes - if the roof isn't closed properly! Ensure the roof is closed and 'no'. The salesman told us that Porsche put a lot of effort into simplifying the roof to ensure it doesn't rattle, and on a brand new one it doesn't. I guess the proof is in the 2 year old pudding...

    As for drivability of the car itself... stunning! It's a lot bigger than the Cayman S, has a lot more power and feels different, but it's still a stonker. Comparing the handling of it to the Cayman is difficult because of the 4WD system. Both are a lot of fun... but this is quicker. Using my girlfriend's scare / scream factor I would say that the passenger feels a lot safer. Same roads & same speeds I get an earful in the Cayman and not in this. Perhaps a good reason to proceed?!

    To anyone who doesn't get the Targa, I don't think they've been in it. I'm aware of certain magazine articles that don't like the car due to performance reasons but from a potential customer's point of view, it's performance is way more than we want and the incredible feel of all that light around you delivers a real occasion of driving something special.

    Compared to an AMV8V? The 997's engine certainly feels much more powerful and it's delivery is so sweet. The AM had to be pushed and pushed and still didn't seem to take off. This doesn't hesitate and smoothly delivers the whole way through the rev range. The AM squeaked and rattled, the plastics felt cheap and there was a general feeling of compromise.

    To boldly state my opinion and risk getting flamed, I would say the V8 Vantage plays on its heritage where Porsche, as always, just gets on with it and delivers pure brilliance.

    So, are we going to place an order? Well, there is the choice of colour first.... she likes the red, I like the gold...

    Some more text and lots more pictures here

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Good input. The C4S is what I drive everyday. Every convertible I have owned rattttttttled. My wife has a hard top convertible Lexus SC430 and that top is like a rock. The Cayman didnot have a sunroof option and that shut that idea down. When I had convertibles I often drove when it was abit too cold to drop the top, but it has been a joy to open the sun roof in my C4S. In the fall in Ohio the convertible is just too open. NE Ohio basically sucks, but for about 7 sunny warm days a year. The Targa would be a great option if you ask me. The Porsche is a solid, real sportscar and an everyday driver. I think it is drop dead sexy!

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    wow... this pic really give the line on the rear fender a sense... great pictures and nice report!
    -Joost-

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    I'm test driving the 997 Targa tomorrow after owning a 996 Targa for almost five years. I've tested the V8 Vantage - twice. I really, really wanted to like it, since it just looks like sex on wheels. But it doesn't drive as well as a 996, never mind a 997. Too bad. Well, on to the 997 . . .

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    hinckley said:
    I'm test driving the 997 Targa tomorrow after owning a 996 Targa for almost five years. I've tested the V8 Vantage - twice. I really, really wanted to like it, since it just looks like sex on wheels. But it doesn't drive as well as a 996, never mind a 997. Too bad. Well, on to the 997 . . .


    Welcome to the board Pikey, and thanks for the interesting comments, which confirm what other rennteamers already wrote.

    Hi Hinckley, please don't forget to post pics and comments... , especially about the difference between your 996 targa and the 997 targa.

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Pikey, welcome to the board and many thanks for the excellent post. The photos on your website are excellent!

    I love the idea of the Targa but I am still not too keen on the roof line (esp the chrome bit)

    Good luck with the choice of colour!!

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Great pics.

    I had a 996 Targa and I thought it was fabulous. If you track your car very often and are obsessed with lap times and performance, neither a Targa nor a Cab are for you. It drives me nuts when Cab owners say they wouldn't get a Targa because of the weight. At least on the 996, the Cab was heavier (and less stiff) than the Targa.

    As a daily driver that is a fabulous year round sportscar, the Targa simply cannot be beat. Any performance reduction created by the extra weight and slight reduction in torsional stiffness is negligible, and that roof is simply amazing day or night, warm or cold, summer or winter.

    It's really neat to get on a highway in the rain at about 200 km/hr. Your passengers can enjoy the super cool stream of droplets accross the glass roof. And when it rains lightly or even drizzles, you can open it and stay completely dry without slowing down.

    The new T4S (NOT C4S Targa) is the best daily driver 911 in the Porsche lineup. If you're a stickler for performance, then the GT3 is for you.

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    CarlosF said:
    Welcome to the board Pikey, and thanks for the interesting comments, which confirm what other rennteamers already wrote.

    Hi Carlos. I read your thread and saw your pics - very comprehensive, thanks. I think the exterior colour you've chosen really works.

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    Silver Bullet said:As a daily driver that is a fabulous year round sportscar, the Targa simply cannot be beat. Any performance reduction created by the extra weight and slight reduction in torsional stiffness is negligible, and that roof is simply amazing day or night, warm or cold, summer or winter.

    Absolutely and that's what we're looking for.

    Quote:
    Silver Bullet said:The new T4S (NOT C4S Targa)

    Ah, thanks for pointing out that faux pas - didn't know!

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    btw, in case it's of interest, the sort of touring we like to do that we have in mind for the Targa http://www.pikeynet.com/06/08/24/index.html

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    I just got back from my 997 Targa4S test drive. Sorry, no pics. The car was white, which is a pretty good color with the Targa's black top. And with the white, the chrome strip is pretty innocuous.

    How does it drive compared to my 996 Targa? Well, it had the bigger engine, so that had its obvious benefits. Also, it sounds much better than the 996. I can't say that I noticed the AWD, either for the better (traction) or worse (weight). I was really worried about that and would have preferred not to be forced into AWD.

    What I did notice was that the car was "easier" to drive than my 996. I think it's softer sprung and was a more comfortable drive. That's not necessarily a good thing for me. The Targa may move the needle a bit more towards a GT than I'd like. Although I have never and will never track my P-car, I still like to drive aggressively and be challanged as I'm doing it.

    Conclusion? Even at $100K plus, it seems that life is a compromise. The Targa model fits where I live and how I drive. So . . . I'm thinking about a June pick-up in Stuttgart, a little drive down to Valencia for the America's Cup, maybe a stop in Paris on the return trip . . .

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Hello Pikey, welcome to the board. Thank you for your report and pictures. I'm also close to taking the plunge on a T4S, and appreciate any way to feed my addiction.

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Excellent report and pictures
    Thank you and welcome

    Judgning by your nick, you seem to be a fan of Guy Richie movies

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    temm said:Judgning by your nick, you seem to be a fan of Guy Richie movies



    I am, but it's from my surname and have been called that forever. So it was quite funny when I first saw "that" Guy Richie film

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    hinckley said:Conclusion? Even at $100K plus, it seems that life is a compromise. The Targa model fits where I live and how I drive. So . . . I'm thinking about a June pick-up in Stuttgart, a little drive down to Valencia for the America's Cup, maybe a stop in Paris on the return trip . . .


    "June".. that's interesting. My local dealer advised earliest he could get me in one would be August / Sept.

    I'm certainly going to go for the Stuttgart pick-up for my purchase. From those that have been, it sounds fantastic.

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    nice
    i spotted a burgundy Targa 4 S in Mississauga ontario canada today
    it looks awesome

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    Pikey said:
    Quote:
    temm said:Judgning by your nick, you seem to be a fan of Guy Richie movies



    I am, but it's from my surname and have been called that forever. So it was quite funny when I first saw "that" Guy Richie film



    Gorgeous George: "Oh, I fu**in' hate Pikeys"

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    Pikey said:
    "June".. that's interesting. My local dealer advised earliest he could get me in one would be August / Sept.

    I'm certainly going to go for the Stuttgart pick-up for my purchase. From those that have been, it sounds fantastic.



    I'm sure it's a country allocation thing. I actually have a February production slot now, but may choose to delay it until May or June.

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    LOL, well Pikey, seems you need no protection for "wen Ze Zjermans get there" :P
    -Joost-

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    hinckley said:I'm sure it's a country allocation thing. I actually have a February production slot now, but may choose to delay it until May or June.


    I think you might be right.

    In the UK the numberplate has two indicators for the age of the car at 1st March and 1st August. Because of this (and various financial considerations) we would be aiming for an August collection anyway. Just surprised at the difference..

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    hinckley said:
    Quote:
    Pikey said:
    "June".. that's interesting. My local dealer advised earliest he could get me in one would be August / Sept.

    I'm certainly going to go for the Stuttgart pick-up for my purchase. From those that have been, it sounds fantastic.



    I'm sure it's a country allocation thing. I actually have a February production slot now, but may choose to delay it until May or June.


    Thanks Hinckley for your comments.
    I am surprised about these delivery schedules... . Las week, My P-dealer had two well loaded targas in his showroom, ready to be sold and collected!
    Carlos

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Dealers have a limited allocation. They have to order a minimal number of cars of each model (which is why your dealer has 2 targas left), but after that, they may only order a limited number of cars of the same model each year.

    If you want to drive YOUR Porsche instead of your dealer's, then you have to wait.

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Hi Pikey,
    Great trip through Europe. Enjoyed your site!
    Paulo

    Re: 997 C4S Targa - test drive thoughts and pictures

    Quote:
    pcosta said:
    Hi Pikey,
    Great trip through Europe. Enjoyed your site!
    Paulo


    Thanks. Always good to hear from those far away

     
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