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Porsche premieres new 911 Targa

Despite mixed feelings, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Porsche 911 Targa. Mixed feelings because the 911 Targa loses the timelessly beautiful side windows and sloping roofline that graces every 911 since the first-generation model in 1963.

But what the Targa loses, it more than makes up with its stunning wraparound rear glass, that distinctive roll hoop in brushed aluminum, and of course, that removable center roof section that magically transforms the 911 Targa from a hardtop to a convertible.

The latest versions have made the whole operation a visually spectacular one, with electric motors lifting the one-piece backlight as mechanical arms lift the central part of the roof and lowers it onto the rear deck and the clamshell rear glass locking back down to its original position—all in 19 seconds.

And now, following the introduction of the new 911 Coupe and Cabriolet last March, Porsche completes the 992-generation trio of its iconic sports car with the premiere of the all-wheel drive 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S models.

Efficient twin-turbo boxer engine

Powering the new 911 Targa is a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, 6-cylinder boxer engine. In the 911 Targa 4 this powerplant delivers 385ps at 6,500rpm—15ps more than the previous model—and 450Nm of torque across a wide engine speed range of 1,950rpm to 5,000rpm. When combined with the optional Sport Chrono package, the engine can propel the 911 Targa 4 from rest to 100km/h in just 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 289km/h.

The engine in the new 911 Targa 4S boasts 450ps, 30ps more than in the previous model. Its torque rating is also up by 30Nm, at 530Nm, and is available between 2,300rpm and 5,000rpm. The output allows the latest 911 Targa 4S to reach 100km/h in only 3.6 seconds, and a maximum speed of 304km/h.

Race-bred transmissions and AWD system

The new 911 Targa is equipped with an 8-speed, dual-clutch transmission (PDK) and the Porsche Traction Management (PTM) intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 911 Targa 4S can be ordered with a newly developed 7-speed manual gearbox, with which the Sport Chrono package is included. Fitted for the first time to both models is the Porsche InnoDrive that includes adaptive cruise control. The enhanced Smartlift function allows programming of the cars’ ground clearance, making them ideal for daily use.

Cutting-edge chassis for comfort and safety

Standard to the new 911 Targa is the electronic Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) variable damping system, which automatically adjusts driving comfort and handling to a particular situation. It also has two manually adjustable maps—Normal and Sport. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus), which includes an electronic rear differential lock with fully variable torque distribution, is standard on the Targa 4S and optional on the Targa 4.

The 911 Targa 4 has 235/40 ZR tires on 19-inch alloy wheels in front and 295/35 ZR tires on 20-inch wheels in the rear, as well as 330mm brake discs with four-piston calipers. The 911 Targa 4S model is fitted with 245/35 ZR tires and 20-inch wheels in front and 305/30 ZR tires and 21-inch wheels in the rear. The model’s red brake calipers house six pistons in front and four pistons in the rear, all of which grab 350mm discs across. Available as an option is the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB).

Timeless Targa design with a modern interpretation

Compared to its predecessors, the new 911 Targa’s body has significantly more pronounced fender flares at the front and a hood with a distinctive recess that evokes the design of early 911 generations. The new 911 Targa’s rear is dominated by a wider rear spoiler which can extend to various settings, and a seamlessly integrated light bar. A large section of the car’s outer skin is made from aluminum.

The cabin of the new 911 Targa is characterized by the lines of the dashboard and the recessed instruments, the inspiration for which came from 911 models from the 1970s. Alongside the central rev counter—a defining feature for Porsche—are two thin, frameless freeform information displays. A compact switch unit with five buttons for direct access to important vehicle functions is located below the 10.9-inch center screen of the Porsche Communication Management (PCM). Some of the PCM’s features are online navigation and Connect Plus with Apple Car Play.

With the new 911 Targa, Porsche continues to combine two worlds—the thrill of top-down driving and the everyday comfort and safety offered by a coupe. Just as like it did with the original 911 Targa of 1965.

Manny De Los Reyes

Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of wheels.ph as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

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