With summer rapidly approaching — well, at least hopefully, a few sunny days — Porsche has lifted the wraps from the latest in its 911 stable; the Targa.
Available to order now, with first deliveries scheduled for August, prices start at £98,170 for the Targa 4, and an eye-watering £109,725 for a Targa 4S.
Ok, so the 992-platform 911 Targa certainly isn’t cheap. But hey, if you want one of the best Porsche combos — a four-wheel-drive 911 with a big, clever, electronically-stowing glass roof panel — then that’s the price you’ll pay. And it seems many do: 18 per cent of 991 Carrera and Carrera S cars were Targa models.
Oh, and in case you didn’t know, the name "Targa" comes from the famous Targa Florio race, and since the mid-Sixties has been synonymous with the Porsche open-driving concept.
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Like the original — launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1965 — the G-Series Targa, the 964 version and the previous-generation 991 car, this car features no C-pillar. Instead, looping from one side of the rear cabin to the other, there’s a large, timelessly-stylish B-pillar. Behind it is a large glasshouse for a rear window; all very Jensen Interceptor-like (for those of a certain age).
But doesn’t it have a movable glass panel?
Oh yes. The highlight is the big retractable glass roof panel which, at the push of a button, electronically stows behind the rear seats, undertaken in a beautiful balletic motion, in 19 seconds flat.
Joining the Carrera S and 4S, the non-S Carreras, the Cabriolet, and the Turbo in the 911 range, the Targa is only available with four-wheel drive. Buyers do though have the choice of two engine variants in the UK.The entry level is the 911 Targa 4, which is powered by a turbocharged 380bhp 3.0-litre flat-six capable of hurtling the car from 0–62mph in 4.2 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package. It has a top speed of 180mph. At the pumps Porsche says it’ll return 25.9-26.9mpg, and emit 239-247g/km CO2.
Doesn't sound powerful enough to me
In that case, take a look at the Targa 4S. It’s the same engine which has been slotted into the rear of the Targa 4, but power has been hiked to 444bhp. The result is the 0–62mph drops to 3.6 seconds, with max increasing to 189mph. Fuel and CO2 figure are 25.4-27.2mpg, and 236-253g/km respectively.
An eight-speed PDK automatic gearbox with wheel-mounted paddle shifters is standard on both versions, though buyers of the 4S can opt for a new seven-speed manual gearbox as a no-cost option.
Aesthetically, certainly externally, not much has changed. The new model retains the evolutionary design changes introduced on the latest generation 911. That means an identical pair of LED headlamps and a full-width LED rear light bar, plus the same wide tailgate and active spoiler.
Are the back wheels are bigger than the front?
You’re right. Standard on both versions are staggered alloy wheels. The entry-level Targa 4 gets 19-inch alloys at the front, with 20-inch wheels at the rear. The Targa S has 20s at the front and 21s at the rear.
Not surprisingly, the interior of the Targa is essentially unchanged from that of the rest of the 992 range, with the focal point being the 10.9-inch central touchscreen display for infotainment.
The chassis of the Targa gets some clever tech stuff. Not only is there Porsche’s latest “Wet Mode” traction control setting — which adapts the car’s controls for better stability in the rain — but there’s also an electronically controlled rear differential and PASM adaptive dampers as standard. Porsche also highlights the chassis and suspension tuning is bespoke for the Targa.
Any more new tech?
Yup. For the first time, Porsche InnoDrive, which includes adaptive cruise control, is available on the 911 Targa. And sensibly, you also get the enhanced Smartlift function , which enables ground clearance to be programmed, so the front ride height can be raised … thus ensuring you don’t, accidentally, cause any expensive scrapes to the front spoiler.
And any other new models?
It’s clearly, already, an effortlessly handsome car. But if all this isn’t enough for you — and if you’re actively considering buying a new 911 Targa — it's worth bearing in mind there’s a special edition version of the model, featuring personalisation parts from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, which will be revealed in June.
Buyers of the new Targa will also 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.