What is it?
As much as it has been seen as something of a ‘poser’s Porsche’ over the years - one that’s never really been taken quite as seriously as its coupe sibling - the 911 Targa hasn’t been without its share of fans who wouldn’t identify as your typical boulevard show-boats. Although they might only admit it in hushed, quiet voices, there are some fairly serious drivers out there - a few of them are colleagues - who actually quite fancy the idea of a Targa-topped 911.
You can certainly see why. I mean, just look at it; what isn’t there to like about the way it manages to maintain practically all of the coupe’s iconic silhouette, despite the fact there’s a fairly large stretch of roof missing? Even though the full-fat cabriolet is now more handsome than ever, its overall shape still doesn’t match this new 992-generation Targa for sheer visual appeal. It really is quite a fantastic looking car.
But as much as the Targa’s dashing appearance might have endeared it to testers and driving enthusiasts alike over the years, that fact alone has never been enough to see it rise to the top of the “base” 911 tree. Compromised rigidity, greater weight (the Targa has historically been the porkiest 911 variant), and a higher centre of mass over the rear axle have all served to blunt its dynamic edge somewhat over the years.
And although Porsche might have really put the work in to narrow that gap between the coupe and its drop-top range mates over the years, as a roofless 911 the Targa has struggled to really showcase exactly what it offers over and above the fractionally lighter Cabriolet. Aside from its more appealing looks, that is. So we’re back at the poser question, it seems. I guess we’re just going to have to accept there is a degree of truth to it.
Anyway, there are two different 911 Targa models available: the base Targa 4, and the more powerful Targa 4S tested here in left-hand-drive guise. So four-wheel-drive is standard across the Targa range, then, as has been the case since the 997-generation Targa was launched back in 2006. For the 992 Targa 4, power comes from Porsche’s 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged flat-six, which develops a healthy 380bhp and 332lb ft. In the 4S, these figures are upped to 444bhp at 6500rpm and 391lb ft between 2300-5000rpm, which allow this 1675kg sports car to sprint from 0-62mph in 3.8sec and max out at 189mph.
The £98,170 Targa 4 is available exclusively with Porsche’s excellent 8-speed PDK. Meanwhile, the 4S can be had with either the PDK, or with a seven-speed manual ‘box. Regardless of transmission, both models are priced at £109,725, though it’s worth pointing out that manual cars also feature Porsche’s Sport Chrono package as standard. Our test car came with the PDK transmission, and the Sport Chrono package.
Elsewhere, both cars get Porsche’s Active Suspension Management adaptive dampers, as well as Porsche Traction Management. The 4S, meanwhile, comes with the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus electronically-controlled rear differential as standard, while in 4S manual models this is swapped for a PTV mechanical rear diff’. As for the roof, that can be retracted in 19 seconds - but you have to be stationary for it to work.