Porsche Reveals 2014 911 Targa

P14_0001_a5_rgbThe 2014 North American International Auto Show is officially underway in Detroit, and with it come plenty of exciting concept cars, and new cars making their official debut to the automotive media. Surely any new Porsche 911 variant will garner plenty of interest, but even more so from this journalist. See, I own a Porsche 911 1976 Targa, and I have been eagerly awaiting the latest iteration.

The first 911 Targa came out in 1967. Featuring a roll bar covered in stainless steel, the Targa had a removable, foldable top that can be easily stored under the hood, with a removable plastic rear window that you simply unzippered. After complaints from buyers, Porsche quickly ditched the removable rear window, replacing it with a distinctive wrap around glass rear window. That was mid-1968, and all Porsche 911 Targas were built that way until the mid 1990’s. In 1996, the Targa now featured fully fixed door pillars-a huge glass roof would slide back. It wasn’t the same.

All that changes with the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa. The stainless steel rollbar  look has made a triumphant return, and the overall silhouette is classic Targa. But this is a far more sophisticated animal than my Targa. Instead of undoing two latches, popping the roof panel off, folding it up, and storing it up front, the modern Targa driver presses a button. The rear roof section raises, the roof panel stores itself behind driver and passenger, rear roof sections returns to the normal, and voila, Targa top off.

Two Targa models will be offered, both with all-wheel drive. The Targa 4 is equipped with a 3.4L boxer six, rated at 350hp. Equipped with PDK and Chrono package, the Targa 4 can do 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 174mph. Too slow? Then move up to the Targa 4S, with a 4.0L six packing 400hp. Porsche claims 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds, topping out at 183mph. As for the price of admission, the Targa 4 starts at $101,600USD, while the Targa 4S starts at $116,200. Porsche expects deliveries this summer.

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Targa Newfoundland Day 2: Frustrations on The Rock & back in Ontario

Day 2 of the 2010 running of Targa Newfoundland is in the books, having been a frustration day for The Garage both here at home and more importantly, on The Rock. In the years that we’ve followed our friends Gary Faules and Coop as they competed in La Carrera Panamericana, we’ve had little trouble getting daily reports out of rural Mexico. Getting information from rural Canada is proving to be more difficult.

Some heavy digging today produced a few more photos from Sunday’s prologue event and some from the official event shooter from yesterday. No news of today until the time sheets were posted early in the evening. A quick glance shows our man Crash Corrigan as a DNF today, but without any official explanation and no press release. After blasting messages all over Facebook and Twitter, with no responses, I decided to break down and call Crash on his cell. Surprisingly, he had signal and actually answered the call.

Fortunately, the pumpkin is still straight and Crash and his co-driver Paul Abbott are in one piece too. It seems they’ve had a bit of an exasperating day. First, an oil line fitting sprung a leak. The resulting spray coated the underside of the Escort nicely enough until it caught fire on the exhaust. They got the fire out and began a 100 km transit towards Gander to make some minor repairs, when suddenly the gearbox lost 2nd gear. As of a couple of hours ago, Crash and his Co-Piloto were in a parking lot somewhere on the side of the road attempting to get the car to St. Johns, a mere 300 km away. Repairing the gearbox may be no small feat, as this is no ordinary Ford Escort RS. This one is hiding a Honda S2000 drivetrain under the bonnet, mainly for the sake of reliability. So much for best laid plans. The chances of finding a 2nd gear shaft bearing for an S2000 transmission in Newfoundland are likely quite slim. If it can be done, our man Crash will make it happen.
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2010 Targa Newfoundland is under way

The 2010 Targa Newfoundland got underway at 9:30 this morning. Stuck here in Ontario, it has taken me until 9 pm Eastern time to get results and images to go along with this story. It would seem that details are going to come slowly this week! I got info out of Mexico faster!

That pumpkin up above belongs to close friend of The Garage, Crash Corrigan. I was supposed to be on The Rock acting as his crew chief, but sadly that just wasn’t in the cards. On the positive side, the Pumpkin is still shiny side up, unlike some of our other friends.

I awoke this morning to a somewhat disgruntled message from Crash, explaining how a class of 3 Targa rookies had been crashed by a class winner and a multiple overall winner, after registration had closed. It would seem that organizers were not happy with the open class being populated by only 3 cars. Fortunately, at the end of the day, our man Crash has not lived up to his name and is still on the road, in 4th place in class.
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Frankly, scarlet MINI a contender at Targa Newfoundland 2010

Kenzie and Bourbonniere MINI lapping Mosport

Long time friend of The Garage, Doug Mepham, just sent the following press release regarding the upcoming Targa Newfoundland. Doug has been at this a lot longer than I have, so rather than re-write it…

ST. JOHN’S (August 3, 2010) – One of the most successful and popular cars and teams to compete in Targa Newfoundland, from one of the event’s most dedicated supporters, will return for 2010 with some unfinished business at the top of the agenda.

The brilliant red MINI John Cooper Works Challenge car that debuted in the 2009 event, helmed by driver Jim Kenzie and co-driver Brian Bourbonniere, will return for Targa 2010, the team announced.

The MINI Challenge car is a purpose-built competition car, created by the company as the basis of a one-marque road race series in places like the U.K., Australia and continental Europe. Race suspension, improved brakes, an on-board air-jack system and dazzling aerodynamic kit including front splitter, rear diffuser, and high-downforce adjustable rear wing make the little red rocket a serious contender.

Kenzie, Bourbonniere and the MINI Challenge car nicknamed Frankly Scarlet spent much of the 2009 event coming to terms with adapting a car built for road racing to the rigors of rally competition, finally finishing second in the competitive Open Division. But with a year of experience with the new car, the team has recalibrated its expectations.

“The car looks fantastic and goes like stink,” said Kenzie. “Last year was the MINI Challenge’s first attempt anywhere at rallying, and we learned a few things about the car.”
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Lucky nominated for 2 awards

Long time readers will recall that contributors to The Garage Gary Faules and Jon Emerson competed in the 2007 La Carrera Panamerica in a Shelby GT350R named Lucky. That trip to Mexico was filmed for a documentary called Rebirth of a Legend which not only records the race but also the rich history of the event.

That video has been nominated for Best Sports Documentary and a technical achievement award for Best Cinematography – Documentary at the Action On Film International Film Festival later this month.

The film can be purchased through Gary’s blog and is certain to become a favorite in the library of any gearhead!

Sunday video: MOH Racing takes on Targa Tasmania

Our readers are no strangers to classic tarmac rallies, as we have covered Targa Newfoundland and Gary and the guys at Team CBR have taken us to La Carrera. The event that started it all (in modern times anyway) is the Targa Tasmania. Much like the Canadian and American events, TT now has classes for modern and classic cars.

The 2010 running of Targa Tasmania began last week and finishes up today. The good folks supporting MOH Racing contacted us earlier in the week, with an offer of some in car video. Who am I to say no to in car footage from an Evo IX rally car?
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Peter Thomson wins Shannonville Stages Rally

Yesterday marked the running of the 2010 edition of the Shannonville Stages Rally at Shannonville Motorsport Park, just east on Belleville, Ontario. This is a completely flat road course that is tight and twisty with a long straight at the north end which doubles as a drag strip. I have to say that it is one of my least favorite tracks!

This round of the Ontario Performance Rally Cup proved to be uneventful other than the fact that many teams underestimated the demands of a race track on regular rally brakes. It may seem hard to believe, but many rally cars run stock brakes as the braking effort on gravel and snow isn’t all that taxing. The funny thing is that when we ran the same event in 1994, many of the larger cars had the same issue then. 16 years later and guys still haven’t learned!

2005 Canadian Rally Champion, Peter Thomson with Frank Sprongl co-driving, won the event overall in a Mitsubishi Evo VIII. Second place went to Glen Clarke and Ray Felice in their Porsche 911 which ran out of brakes with 5 laps left. There was actually a battle for 3rd place, which was won by Nicola & Massimo Narini in their Subaru.

Regular readers will recognize the 4th place finisher. Chris Martin and Phil Narini and their Subaru have appeared in our pages a number of times.

After the break, we’ve got some exclusive shots of the event courtesy of Dean Campbell and Flatovercrest.com
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2009 Targa Newfoundland results

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Another edition of the Targa Newfoundland is in the record books. Quite possibly Canada’s most important motorsports event these days, the 2009 Targa pitted 41 rally cars against each other and The Rock. Fortunately, in most cases the cars won this year, with The Rock claiming few casualties. Competitors in the Classic, Modern and Open divisions battle it out for in class wins along with overall honors. For the 2nd year in a row, the top spot overall was taken by the Classic division entry of Hopkins & Hughes in a 1969 BMW 2002. In fact, the top 5 spots were taken by Classic vehicles. So much for some of the new monster cars! As with many rallies, sometimes patience and attention to detail are more important than overall power!
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Targa Newfoundland Leg 3 Results

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The 2009 edition of Targa Newfoundland is well under way and while the on route action must be fast and furious, the results and stories are a bit slower to appear. I’m going to assume the lack of hi speed internet in many parts of The Rock slow the transfer of information somewhat.

At the end of yesterday’s stage, the overall and Classic division lead was held by Glen Clarke and Andy Proudfoot in a Porsche 911. Sitting atop the Modern category is Rally legend Steven Millen and R & T scribe Mike Monticello who are in 6th place overall in the Nissan GT-R. Canadian rally stud Frank Sprongl leads the Open class in the monster Uber Quattro and sit in 9th overall.

Follow the link below to view the full results and you’ll notice that sometimes it isn’t all about brute force. Sometimes being on time counts more than all out speed. Even still, you can be sure that guys like Millen and Sprongl are going to put on a hell of a show for the fans!

Targa results leg 3

This cool shot of Millen & Monticello is courtesy of Warwick Patterson. We’ll have more of Warwick’s shots soon when he can get connected to some hi speed.

Steve Millen and Road & Track taking on Targa Newfoundland with Nissan GT-R

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Each year the depth of talent at Canada’s incredible Targa Newfoundland grows with ever increasing manufacturer involvement.

Nissan has just announced that motorsport legend Steve Millen will campaign a Stillen prepared GT-R at the 2009 event on The Rock. Riding shotgun will be Road & Track’s Mike Monticello.

Road & Track is documenting the Godzilla build with a series of videos that you can see at Road & Track. Also, swing by the build blog at Stillen.