Stuttgart, Germany – The original Porsche 911 Targa of the 1960s was something of an outlaw within Porsche’s stable, designed to circumvent US convertible legislation that never materialised. But that intriguing wraparound rear window design thankfully won enough fans to ensure that this bodystyle continued to evolve through the 911 generations.
Which brings us to the latest 992-generation Targa that Porsche has revealed today, sporting wraparound rear glass that’s more gorgeous than ever. As per the traditional Targa formula, it has a silver roll bar for improved rigidity and safety, but you can still enjoy some open-air road tripping thanks to a moveable roof section over the front seats, which can be opened or closed at the push of a button in 19 seconds, according to Porsche.
The new 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S only come in all-wheel-drive format, hence the ‘4’ in their names, but buyers do get to choose between two versions of Porsche’s 3-litre twin-turbo flat six: The 911 Targa 4 is good for 283kW at 6500rpm and 450Nm from 1950 revs, and the Targa 4S indulges its owners with 331kW at 6500 and 530Nm from 2300.
Porsche’s eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automated gearbox is standard in both models, but the 4S can be optionally ordered with Porsche’s recently announced seven-speed manual gearbox, which should do wonders for your elbow strength.
So how fast are they? According to Porsche’s testers, the Targa 4S can shoot from 0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds, while the Targa 4 takes 4.2 seconds, when fitted with the optional Sport Chrono package. The 4S manual model needs 4.4 seconds to get to 100, providing your snap-changing skills are up to scratch.
To get you around corners as quickly and safely as possible is an enhanced chassis and all-wheel drive system, which also includes a new front axle drive system with Porsche Traction Management. Also part of the deal for Targa owners is the company’s PASM adaptive suspension system with two driver-selectable modes: Sport and Normal.
The Targa 4S model ups the ante with Porsche’s Torque Vectoring Plus system, which comes with an electronic rear differential lock that allows fully variable torque distribution between the back wheels. This feature is optionally available on the Targa 4, and both models can also be ordered with ceramic composite brakes.
As for the ‘tekkies’, the Targa 4 comes with 19-inch alloy wheels up front and 20” rims round back, and the Targa 4S rolls on a 20” / 21” combo.
On the tech front, the new Targa models are also available with new-to-911 features like Porsche’s InnoDrive, which includes adaptive cruise control, and the enhanced ‘Smartlift’ nose lifting function for those Table Mountain-inspired speed bumps and the odd Durban driveway.
Watch this space for South African launch timing and pricing details for the new 911 Targa models.
By Jason Woosey