This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Porsche 911 Targa (14-19) review.

Parkers overall rating: 5 out of 5 5.0

The Targa uses the same engines as the rest of the 911 range so the standard model has a 3.6-litre engine with a potent 325bhp enabling it to reach 174mph and hit 62mph in 5.3 seconds. The Targa S has a 3.8-litre engine producing an extra 30bhp. Its top speed is 179mph and it sprints from 0 to 62mph in just 4.9 seconds. These performance figures are fractionally down compared to the Coupe as the Targa is slightly heavier, but it's not a noticeable difference and on the road it's an exhilaratingly fast car.

The six-speed manual gearbox has a delightfully precise gearchange while there's an optional five-speed Tiptronic system, which uses buttons on the steering wheel to make changes. The PDK automatic gearbox, introduced when the 911 was revised in 2008, is an impressive system, but does diminish that all-important sense of driver involvement. It's also not immediately intuitive - you pull back on the gear stick to change down, whereas with most systems you push forward.

There are gear change buttons on the steering wheel but they're quite awkward and not as easy to use as paddles.

All Targa models have a four-wheel drive system, which delivers between five and 40 per cent of power to the front wheels for extra stability in corners and added traction in slippery conditions. It's been fine-tuned to take account of the slight weight increase, but remains exceptionally well composed no matter how challenging the road. A system called Porsche Active Suspension Management, (optional on the Targa 4, standard on the Targa 4S) offers two settings: normal and a sport mode which firms the suspension noticeably.

The brakes inspire plenty of confidence such is their stopping power, but owners demanding the ultimate can specify an optional Carbon Ceramic Brake System which is lighter and even more effective.