Air to the throne: new Porsche 911 Targa

Published: 17 May 2020

► Porsche unveils the 992-generation Targa, in 4 and 4S guise
► Expensive but high standard spec
► Effortlessly handsome, oh so desirable 

Like clockwork, Porsche has been turning out the 911 derivatives since launching the current, 992-gen car early last year. We’ve had the Carrera S and 4S, the non-S Carreras, the Cabriolet, the Turbo, and now the Targa. 

With ferocious logic Porsche’s engineers, acknowledging that the previous, 991-generation Targa mechanism (folding roof section above the seats, timeless Targa bar, a neat nod to the ’65 original, and a wraparound rear screen) was a work of some genius, have left it all but unchanged, and simply grafted it artfully onto the 992 platform.

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How much?!

The 911 might be the best sports car of its generation but it is not cheap. And the Targa really isn’t cheap. You’ll need £98,170 for a Targa 4 and an eye-watering £109,725 for a Targa 4S. Stiff money, but of course all-wheel drive is standard (as before, you can’t buy a two-wheel-drive Targa), standard-fit PASM adaptive dampers, the very effective Wet mode and, of course, that elegant, balletic, folding roof mechanism.

Why not just build the Cabriolet and save themselves the bother?

Weirdly, though the Targa looks and feels more like a coupe, it’s actually around 20kg heavier than the Cabriolet, which in turn is some 50kg heavier than the coupe. But that won’t put off Targa buyers. 

‘In the sales figures we see here there is a significant number of people who just go for this iconic shape and design of the car,’ explains Porsche sports car boss Frank-Steffen Walliser. ‘What’s more, these are really good customers who don’t look to save every penny. We see full-spec cars, and a higher share of the more powerful engines than when I compared to the Cabriolet or coupe. So, we have a powerful business case for the Targa.

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‘18% of 991 Carrera and Carrera S cars were Targas, a pretty big number, and a bigger number than was the case with the previous Targas,’ continues Walliser. ‘They were pretty much a big glass sunroof. The iconic Targa look, which the 991 brought in, was a breakthrough.

Powerful business case, powerful car

Out back you’ll find the 911’s standard-issue twin-turbo, 3.0-litre flat-six, hooked up to either the latest eight-speed PDK auto or Porsche’s seven-speed manual. The 380bhp Targa 4 is good for 0-62mph in 4.2sec and 180mph; the 4S 0-62mph in 3.6sec and 189mph.

As before, it’s four-wheel-drive only. ‘Four-wheel drive is a typical option for this type of customer,’ explains Walliser. ‘Maybe there is a small case for a two-wheel-drive Targa, but to be honest there is a constant pressure not to offer too many 911 variants.’

The new Targa is on sale now, and due with first (very, very lucky) customers in August – fingers crossed we get a proper summer.

By Ben Miller

The editor of CAR magazine, story-teller, average wheel count of three

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