Month: April, 2017
Autonomous driving is a feature that’s coming soon, or at least that’s what most of the experts in the auto industry are predicting. Most major car companies are hard at work trying to get a car to safely drive you around the road, and through extensive research tests are getting closer and closer to successfully doing just that. Many automakers want to make it so that drivers never have to drive again. So that they can lounge peacefully behind the wheel of the car, or even without a wheel at all, and get transported to the final destination. This isn’t want performance brands like Porsche or Mazda want though. They’re more interested in meeting somewhere in the middle.
Why Porsche Doesn’t Want Always on Auto Driving
Porsche isn’t interested in autonomous driving features that are always on for vehicle owners. That’s because Porsche is a performance brand and most Porsche owners have the vehicles for the driving experience. In other words, Porsche owners wouldn’t have a reason to buy a Porsche if they weren’t going to be driving it.
Instead Porsche wants to create vehicles with autonomous driving that you can switch on and off as you see fit. These systems would give you control over the auto features, but still make driving safer at the same time.
Autonomous Driving Standard in Every Porsche
According to Klaus Zellmer, the North American CEO of Porsche, autonomous driving will be like cruise control is today. It’s a tech that will soon be standard in every Porsche, but something that you’ll be able to pick and choose when you use it. This means that Porsche owners will have the option if they don’t feel like driving, but there’s no need to use an autonomous driving feature, just as there isn’t a need to use cruise control today.
A Behind the Scenes Nanny
Porsche understands that autonomous driving is a way to make driving safer, and Zellmer believes that the best answer is to create safety features that run in the background without taking away from the driving experience. In other words, a computer would be running with a series of sensors that detect any danger, and correct errors that the driver makes without even worrying the driver about the errors. You could safely enjoy the thrill of driving your Porsche, while operating it under much safer circumstances than is possible today with this tech.
Autonomous driving is exciting for car owners and it’s a feature nearly everyone wants to implement, Porsche just wants to make sure that the act of driving remains enjoyable and that aficionados can drive to their heart’s desire without being taxied around all the time.
The 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S is an exciting throwback to the original Targa with the same looks, but a whole lot more tech and performance. It’s a modern-day high powered equivalent to the classic car, and it’s exhilarating to drive around. We’ll get into what makes it so special down below, but to really understand what makes the car special you have to drive it for yourself.
It Has the Original Look
The car looks very similar to the original 911 Targa with the same curvaceous rear glass, the same Targa bar and the same overall body shape. Sure it’s not identical, but for a Porsche enthusiast it’s the best you’ll get other than picking up the original vehicle for nostalgia’s sake.
An Advanced Retractable Top
The cloth top on the original Targa couldn’t have been simpler. You unhook a few clips and it pops right off. The modern equivalent of that is an overly-complicated electrical-mechanical matchup that takes nearly 20 seconds to fold down the top under the glass. The plus side of that is that during that time you don’t have to do anything. You press the button and the top folds up and out of the way until you need it again. It’s convenient, you just have to be patient.
A Whole Lot of Power
The modern Targa 4S comes with a massive amount of power. You’ll have 420 HP and 368 lb.-ft. of torque at your disposal thanks to the 3.0 liter twin-turbo flat six under the hood. It’s water cooled and mechanically impressive and the car really hauls down the road because of it. There’s no better feeling than stomping on the pedal and being thrown back against the seat as you literally launch.
The Targa 4S comes standard with a silky 7-speed manual transmission that’s fun to operate, but if you’re not the shifting type, or you want the absolute peak performance, you can upgrade to the seven-speed dual clutch automatic PDK transmission. It gets the job done faster and more smoothly, and you don’t have a clutch pedal to worry about. Either way power distribution is excellent and you’ll climb through the gears without any notable jerks or uneven performance.
Massive Performance Power
Thanks to that oversized engine that I mentioned earlier the 2017 Targa 4S is a serious monster on the track. 0 to 60 happens in just 3.3 seconds, a quarter mile is over in 11.7 seconds and the car stops on a dime with 0 to 60 occurring in just 97 feet. Sure it won’t win any fuel efficiency awards with a 24 MPG combined rating, but it saves fuel better than many other sports cars that you’ll encounter.
If there’s something about the handling of the Porsche that you don’t like, you might be able to modify it to your liking as well. You can change around the drive mode between Sport, Sport + and a small collection of other drive modes to change the steering stiffness, the throttle response and shifting aggression to get you a dynamic that feels right for your situation.
The 911 Targa 4S is a real joy to drive, but it doesn’t come cheap with a base price of just over $123,000. It’s not uncommon for the price tag to climb above $150,000 with options added on, so you have to be comfortable spending heavily to enjoy this car.