We Take The LEGO Porsche 911 Targa For A Test Drive - Review
LEGO 10295 - Porsche 911
RRP UK £119.99 - EUR €149.99 - USA $149.99 - AUD $229.99 - CA $199.99
Members of LEGO's free VIP loyalty program will be able to purchase the LEGO Porsche 911 Turbo and Targa set from February 16th on LEGO.com. From March 1st, the set will be on sale exclusively in LEGO stores and on LEGO.com.
A Little Bit Of Background
The Porsche 911 was introduced in 1965 as a successor to the Porsche 356, as a more powerful, larger and more luxurious sports car. Quickly, the model became sought after with buyers and it became the basis for decades of successful motorsport endeavours, earning an enviable reputation as a true driver’s sports car. The shape and appearance of the Porsche 911 is one of the most recognisable, iconic and consistent vehicle forms over the last half-century and its appearance is an asset the company continues to protect and evolve with each new model, carefully avoiding fundamental redesigns. The Porsche 911 undergoes few model changes with each model lifecycle lasting between 5-10 years.
“What if at just the right time, just the right people made just the right thing? What if it came out so right that no matter how hard anybody tried, they couldn’t quite make a thing that was better than that thing? It doesn’t happen much. But the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS is one of those things.” - Jerry Seinfeld
LEGO have given us two versions of the Porsche 911. "Oh, one has a different roof" I hear you say? There is a little bit more to it than that! We are going to give you a little bit of background and history on each model, and what LEGO has done to hopefully get the approval of the purists.
Thanks to my good friend and car nerd @adrianbank84 for writing the background on this car and educating me!
Porsche 911 Targa
The Porsche 911 Targa debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1965 and was released in 1966 to supplement the standard 911 coupe. The 911 Targa name refers to the removable, ‘open’ roof of this coupe variant but is not a full convertible. The name ‘Targa’ refers to the Targa Florio Race that occurred in Sicily from the 1950s until the 1970s when the power produced by racing cars was growing out of control and the lack of safety and subsequent fatalities on the mountainous course forced its closure. The Porsche 911 Targa models continue to this day and are easily identifiable by their removable roof and the iconic vertical roll bar in contrasting colour behind the seat headrests. Except where the roll bar was removed from models for about 15 years, during the 1990s to early 2010s, replaced with a solid glass roof.
The Targa model is considered more of a celebration of Porsche’s racing heritage and iconic appearance, rather than being one of their hardcore sports models. But it is still a beautiful and highly sought after lifestyle model nonetheless, without needing to extend to a full convertible model of car, which generally weighs more due to the structural reinforcements needed with the loss of roof rigidity.
This build allows you to remove the roof, with storage for it under the front hood. You have the subtle details of dark silver rims just like the original, with the rounded glass rear window.
Porsche 911 Turbo
The Porsche 911 Turbo refers to the turbo engined versions of the 911 models and it originally debuted as a more powerful version of the Porsche 930 model in the 1970s and still continues to this day, as the top of the 911 vehicle range. The 911 Turbo remains arguably the most sought after and fastest road-going Porsche in production and has consistently remained the World’s production car benchmark for acceleration, top speed, handling and general sheer enjoyment of driving over the last 4+ decades. Some of the most sought after 911 Turbo models are the 964 model 911 Turbo, which ran from 1989 until 1993 and famously featured throughout the 1995 Bad Boys Movie starring Will Smith.
In 1993 Porsche released the successor to the 964 911, the 993 911, introducing incredible technology for the time in a sports car, such as all-wheel drive, a 6-speed manual transmission and twin-turbocharging in the 993 911 Turbo. These features helped give it an incredible 3.6 seconds 0-100km/h time (0-60mph for the US audience), which was the fastest ever acceleration achieved by a mass-production car. Throughout the World, these vehicles are still fetching close to what they originally were priced at or in some cases more, such as this Australian model recently selling for AUD $375,000!
Once again, LEGO has stayed true to the original, giving us a 2nd set of rims in black to match that of the original 911 Turbo. It's doesn't stop there. You Can't switch from the Targa to the Turbo without some changes to the engine. In the Turbo build, there are alterations to the engine which obviously will give it more power! Along with the rear spoiler, flat glass back window and larger rear wheel fender.
The LEGO Build
The things I like about cars isn't their engine size or power, what kind of animal the seat is made out of or what other people think of it. I like things like the colour and if the GPS can wirelessly connect to my phone. I'm obviously not a car guy. But building this car, even with my slim knowledge of its background and history felt like something special. I wanted to place every piece into place like an artist making each careful stroke with their paintbrush. Do you think this sounds silly? Wait till you build the engine in this model and pop it into place. If you don't feel it at that point, you shouldn't have purchased the set.
Not long ago I built the Ghostbusters ECTO-1. Definitely a fun build as well, but this Porsche 911 has a lot of similar pieces in a lot of the same spots. I guess that's not too much of a surprise. Both were designer by Mike Psiaki and both are white. Mike has done a tremendous job of recreating the slick lines and curves of this car. Unlike the more box shapes of the ECTO-1, the 911 is very rounded, with a long flat bonnet and that smooth decline of the roof to the tail.
Mike has also done a stellar job on replicating the brown leather interior of this car. The textured dashboard and shapes in the chair are spot on! Speaking of the chairs, being a two-door vehicle, the cars even tilt forward, allowing your pretend passengers access to the back seat! However, the floor does feel unfinished, with parts of the understructure on display.
Choose Your Style
LEGO has decided to give us two different models in this build. The 911 Turbo and the 911 Targa. The differences have been covered above. Besides the roof, you also get a second set of wheels that suit each style. Dark silver for the Turbo and black for the Targa.
You also get a selection of number plates to suit your region and style. Designer Mike Psiaki has popped a little shoutout to himself on the New York plate, featuring his surname. The Japanese plate are the LEGO set number. Unfortunately, I'm not too sure about the third plate, if you know, comment below!
But here is something I didn't enjoy. In the instructions when you get to the point of deciding what version of the vehicle you are going to build, the 'choose your style is quite unclear. For the record, I chose to build the 911 Targa. I was left flicking back and forth in the instructions trying to work out if I needed to complete anything else before moving on. Build bags 9 & 10 are required for this version. In the normal LEGO building process, I open and finish one bag before beginning the next. With this build, you do need the pieces from both bags at the same time. This caused me a little bit of confusion, thinking I had misplaced a second bag #8. I might just be silly, but this was my experience and journey while building. But it was even more complicated than that... Read on below...
Issues When Changing Between Turbo & Targa
By no means am I an experienced builder, but I'm also far from novice. LEGO knows to design their instructions with the purpose of the model being completed by their intended audience. I built with 911 Targa first. That's the one with the black roof and rounded back window. For these reviews photos, I also converted the model into the Turbo. Unfortunately, this wasn't a simple as I thought it would be.
LEGO has not proved any instructions on the pieces that will need to be removed when changing between models. In addition to this, some of the pieces that are used in one model, are used in a completely different spot on the other model.
For example, the Targa used the snot element #6337079 (L shaped snot brick) just in front of the back wheels on the 911 Targa, but used in the roof on the 911 Turbo. Sounds basic right? But that little L shape fella isn't hard to find if you don't know where you're looking. While converting between models, most of the time was spent searching through pieces, wondering if pieces were missing, searching back and forth through the instruction manual to figure out if pieces were included on the model at the end of bag #7, followed by carefully dissecting the model to retrieve the piece you need. It sure was a journey!
I'm unsure what advice I should even provide in this instance. The easiest would be:
1. Choose either the 911 Turbo or the 911 Targa. And live with your decision.
2. Just take it all apart and start over, it's potentially quicker.
3. Buy two of this set.
Overall, this is an awesome car and a thoroughly enjoyable build (providing you don't choose to change to the other model). It's sleek, it's smooth and it's got me wishing I could drive one someday! Happy building, and drive safely.
Check out our gallery page for more images of the car!
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