An Ozark Gem: TechArt-modified Porsche 911 Targa 4S
From the pca e-brake archives
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Article and photos by Jim Rand
Porsches come in many different configurations, from Boxsters to 911s, Caymans to Cayennes, and more. Add in the various engines, colors, wheels, interiors, and the list just keeps going. Porsche’s list of factory options is one of the most extensive in the industry. So how could one alter a fine piece of machinery any further? Well, people do take steps beyond the realm of the Porsche factory, and one of them is a Germany-based tuning company called TechArt.
In the late 1980s, in Germany, Thomas Behringer started TechArt after gaining experience working with another sports car tuning company. He wanted to up the ante on tuner parts’ fit and quality while keeping in step with the latest models from Porsche.
Recently I traveled to the rolling hills of the southern Missouri Ozark Mountains for an opportunity to ride in and photograph a new TechArt-modified Porsche. The model in question was a 911 Targa 4S that had just completed its TechArt touches. Dr. Shachar Tauber and his wife, the proud owners of this new Targa, worked with Springfield Imports in Missouri to complete the modifications. The Taubers’ journey to get to this point started nearly 12 months earlier with a trip to TechArt’s world headquarters in Leonberg, Germany, near Porsche’s headquarters in Stuttgart. There they sat down with the TechArt staff and carefully chose the modifications that would be applied to their Targa and morph it into something new.
On a clear, surprisingly comfortable late summer’s morning, Ron Mormile, from TechArt’s California office, met me at the Springfield Imports dealership. Waiting for us was a pristine white Targa. Immediately I could tell this is not just your average Targa, if there is such a car. A bold, metallic, charcoal-colored decal covers three-fourths of the front bonnet, with a red racing stripe centered over the Porsche crest. Red and metallic charcoal stripes also accent the rear deck. And if that doesn’t do enough to snap you to attention, red racing stripes with the TechArt logo fore and aft of the front wheel wells will.
Beyond the exterior striping, TechArt front spoiler, front air inlets, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, and side skirts were installed. The tuning company’s 21-inch made-in-house wheels complete the look. The fit and the finish are precise and mirror Porsche’s own quality of material.
In the cabin, a TechArt steering wheel provides a great look and a hefty feel. Custom floor mats and a red-stitched center armrest complement the Targa’s already fine interior.
If you want to blend with traffic and not be noticed, this is not your car. As Ron and I drove out of town to begin our photo shoot, smiles, thumbs up, and waves from both men and women greeted us at every stoplight.
There are more than visual delights on this Targa. Those who want to hear the engine better may opt for TechArt’s optional valve-controlled sport exhaust system, which can be set for street or track. In the track and sport settings, I could close my eyes and swear we were running with the Porsche Cup series.
Porsche did a beautiful job giving the Targa 4S a solid, non-thumpy ride. The seams in the highway did not resonate throughout the cabin or pop me out of my seat each time one was crossed. Perhaps this is why the Taubers decided to forego the TechArt spring kit.
There are different ways to go about building a TechArt Porsche. Customers may work directly with TechArt, through their local Porsche dealership or Porsche service shop, or even install components on their own. Most prefer professional assistance, as was the case with this Targa. And while TechArt has the ability to customize your Porsche with exterior, interior, suspension, and performance modifications, only about 10% of customers do so. Most pick and choose what they like from the extensive parts catalogue.
Our three hours of shooting passed way too fast, and before we knew it, it was time to return to the dealership. Once there, members of the local Porsche club gathered to welcome their newest vehicular member. Here, too, everyone gave the TechArt-modified Porsche 911 Targa 4S a hearty thumbs up.
For more information on TechArt, you can go to their website www.techart.de/