Porsche's Latest Targa 4 and 4S Make their Silver-Highlighted Debut
The new 911 Targa
Like it’s been doing for generations now, Porsche trickles out all of the special trims of its cars slowly, steadily, one at a time. The latest is one of our favourites, the 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S that let you open most of the roof to give you nice weather and sun but keeps a solid section over most of the cabin for buyers who aren’t ready for the full convertible experience come the colder months.
While fitting a model in between coupe and cabriolet can sound like a compromise, the Targa really does offer the best of both worlds. A soft-top middle bit and plenty of glass covering the rear. It also comes with that wide, shiny Targa roll bar that’s been a signature of the model and looks darn good.
When Porsche launched the Targa top (named for the Targa Florio road race) back in 1965, they called it a “safety cabriolet” because most of the roof opens, now in a fully-powered 19-second flurry of folding fabric, actuators, and motors, but the Targa bar is fixed in place which adds protection and will likely satisfy your local track day’s tech requirements.
The Targa 4 gets a 3.0L flat-six like the standard Carrera, boasting 385 hp, with the 4S offering larger turbochargers and more boost to deliver 444 hp. Porsche’s eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic is the standard choice, but a seven-speed manual is a no-cost option only on the Targa 4S. Better than no-cost, it’ll come with the Sport Chrono Package for that price, an optional extra on PDK cars. Here, it comes with a mechanical torque-vectoring rear differential, stability management Sport mode, dynamic engine mounts, a stopwatch, and the Porsche Track Precision telemetry app.
All Targas get Porsche’s active suspension management variable damping system as standard, to balance ride and handling to suit the road surface, and PDK 4S cars have an electronically controlled rear differential that’s an option on Targa 4 cars.
With all-wheel drive, the cars get wet mode, which adjusts throttle response and stability control for lower-grip wet pavement. Base cars get 330 mm discs all around with four-piston fixed calipers while the 4S trades those for 350 mm discs all-around and six-piston front, four rear. Carbon-ceramic brakes are on the options list, and drivers can also opt for rear-axle steering on Targa 4S. That system turns the rear wheels up to two degrees, improving agility at speed and manoeuvrability in town. Tick that box and Porsche’s active anti-roll bar system is added to the list of tempting offers, reducing roll when cornering.
The Targa 4 models come with ParkAssist front and rear distance sensors, it also uses those to make sure there’s room behind for the roof to open and close. Brake assist can apply full braking force if necessary and can apply emergency braking if the driver doesn’t react. The cars also have Porsche InnoDrive as an option, a dynamic cruise control system that predicts optimal acceleration, braking, and speed for up to 3 km in advance using nav data. So it can slow for corners and accelerate (or brake) before hills.
Basically, it’s the new-generation 911 we already know but with a center roof section that goes away and a massive section of curved rear glass that might give this the best rear visibility of all the 911 variants short of a cabrio with the roof open. The Targa 4 can hit 100 in 4.2 seconds and the 4S in 3.6, and both will top out near 300 km/h. Expect the new Targa to show up at dealers later this year.