By Wayne Gorrett
Porsche completes its sports car trio in time for summer with the reveal of the 911 Targa 4 and 4S, bearing the same powertrain as the current 911, with the 4S producing 444hp.
Following on from the Coupé and Cabriolet, the third body variant of the new 911 (992) generation makes its debut with the all-wheel drive Porsche 911 Targa 4 and 4S models.
The distinguishing feature of the Targa remains its innovative, fully automatic roof system and, just like the legendary original Targa model from 1965, it features a characteristic wide roll hoop, a movable roof section above the front seats and a wraparound rear window. The roof can be comfortably opened and closed in just 19 seconds.
Compared to its predecessors, the Targa body features more pronounced wheel housings at the front and, between its LED headlights, its bonnet has a distinctive recess evoking the design of the first 911 generations. Its rear is dominated by its wider, variably extending rear spoiler and seamlessly integrated, elegant light bar. With the exception of the front and rear sections, the entire outer skin is made from aluminium.
The interior echoes the 911 Carrera models and is characterised by the clear and straight lines of its dashboard and its recessed instruments. The 911 models from the 1970s provided the inspiration here. Alongside the central rev counter – very much a defining feature for Porsche – two thin, frameless freeform displays extend the information provided to the driver.
A compact switch unit with five buttons for direct access to important vehicle functions is located below the 10.9-inch centre screen of the Porsche Communication Management system. The standard PCM features include online navigation based on swarm data as well as Connect Plus with Apple Car Play.
Engines and transmissions
It is powered by a six-cylinder, three-litre boxer engine with twin turbochargers: the Porsche 911 Targa 4 now delivers 380hp and, in combination with the optional Sport Chrono package, accelerates from zero to 62mph in just 4.2 seconds – one tenth faster than before.
The same powerplant in the 911 Targa 4S is tuned to 444hp and reaches the 62mph mark in just 3.6 seconds under the same conditions – four tenths faster than its predecessor. Top speed of the 911 Targa 4 is 180mph, while the 4S peaks at 189mph.
Both sports cars are fitted with eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission and intelligent all-wheel drive Porsche Traction Management as standard to deliver maximum driving pleasure. Alternatively, the 911 Targa 4S can be ordered with the newly developed seven-speed manual gearbox, with which the Sport Chrono package is included.
New technology has also been integrated to extend the range of features for both 911 models and, for the first time, Porsche InnoDrive, which includes adaptive cruise control, is available. Thanks to the enhanced Smartlift function, ground clearance can be programmed so that it is raised for everyday use. The list of options is supplemented by an extensive range from Porsche Tequipment and new personalisation options from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur.
Efficient bi-turbo boxer engine
Like the 911 Carrera models, both Porsche 911 Targa variants profit from the increase in power provided by the turbocharged three-litre six-cylinder boxer engines. Both performance and everyday usability benefit as a result.
The engine in the 911 Targa 4 produces 380hp at 6,500 rpm, which is 15hp more than its predecessor. Maximum torque of 450Nm is delivered across a wide engine speed range of between 1,950 and 5,000 rpm. With its 444hp, the 911 Targa 4S delivers 30hp more output than its predecessor and generates maximum torque of 530Nm (up 30Nm) between 2,300 and 5,000 rpm.
The enhanced performance of the new all-wheel drive models goes hand-in-hand with further development of the front-axle drive. The clutch and differential unit is water-cooled and has reinforced clutch discs for greater robustness and a higher load capacity.
The increased actuating torque at the clutch improves its adjustment accuracy and the function of the additional front-axle drive. Overall, the enhanced front-axle drive with Porsche Traction Management contributes to better traction in all road conditions.
The electronically controlled variable damping system (Porsche Active Suspension Management) is part of the standard equipment on the new 911 Targa models. This system automatically adjusts the damping characteristics in terms of driving comfort and handling to each driving situation and has two manually adjustable settings – Normal and Sport.
Porsche Torque Vectoring+, which includes an electronic rear differential lock with fully variable torque distribution, is added as standard equipment for the Targa 4S and is available as an option on the Targa 4.
Like the other eighth generation Porsche 911 variants, the Targa models are also equipped with Porsche Wet mode as standard. Sensors fitted in the front wheel housings detect water on the road surface and, if significant volumes of water are picked up, a signal in the cockpit suggests the driver switch to Wet mode. The drive responsiveness is then adapted to the conditions to guarantee maximum driving stability.
The driving dynamics setup for the 911 Targa 4 includes 235/40 ZR tyres on 19-inch alloys on the front axle and 295/35 ZR tyres on 20-inch wheels at the rear. As standard, the 4S model is fitted with 245/35 ZR tyres on its 20-inch front wheels and 305/30 ZR tyres on its 21-inch rears.
On the Targa 4, deceleration is taken care of on both axles by 330-millimetre brake discs with black four-piston monobloc fixed callipers. The red-painted brake callipers on the Targa 4S have six pistons at the front axle, four at the rear while its discs measure 350 mm front and rear. Ceramic brakes are optional on both models.
The new 911 Targa 4 and 4S models are available to order from Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland from today, arriving with customers from August. The 911 Targa 4 is priced from £98,170 and the 911 Targa 4S from £109,725.
Buyers will be invited to explore the potential of their new car, and further develop their own skills behind the wheel, by participating in a bespoke driving experience around the unique tracks at the Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.