Porsche lifts the lid on new 911 Targa 4 and 4S
The 911 series is the raciest branch on the Porsche family tree. The Targa is probably the least racy of the 911s, because it's the heaviest. It's the heaviest, because of its weird clamshell Targa roof; you can get "Cabriolet" convertibles based on most of the 911 cars, but the Targa is the only one that keeps the rear windshield and conspicuous roll bar intact behind your head when you're cruisin' with the top down.
Why? Well, style, really. The Targas add a pinch of retro wackiness to the 911 recipe, and Porsche digs that vibe. There's really nothing else out there that looks like it, so vive la différence.
The latest Targas, launched today, are based on the new 992 model generation, and thus they get a bit of a kick in the pants power-wise. The six-cylinder, 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine now makes 379 horses in the Targa 4 (up from 370) and 450 in the sportier 4S (up from 420). The standard transmission is an 8-speed dual-clutch PDK paddle-shift auto, but the S can be had with a seven-speed manual if you want one your kids can't drive. The S model gets to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.6 seconds, four tenths faster than its predecessor, and the regular model takes 4.2.
As indicated by the model name, the Targa 4 and 4S are both all-wheel-drive. Both get adjustable-lift active suspension in the form of the Smartlift system and the PASM variable damping system, which can be set for normal or sport driving. There's torque vectoring to keep things in line, and you can beef that up with an additional PTV Plus upgrade to the standard model that adds an electronic rear diff lock to the mix. The S gets it standard.
There's a Wet mode for optimal safety in poor road conditions, and water sensors will conspire to pop up a prompt on your 10.9-inch screen telling you to turn it on when the car feels the weather is sufficiently bad. The InnoDrive adaptive cruise system is optional.
As for that Targa roof, it'll open or close for you in a very relaxed 19 seconds, giving people plenty of time to watch as the rear window clamshell lifts up and the automated mechanism does its thing. Watch this little dance, annoyingly intercut with a lady doing back bends, in the video below. Pricing starts at US$120,650 for the 911 Targa 4 and US$136,550 for the 911 Targa 4S, and they'll start hitting American shores later this year.