911 Targa 01

Retro-ficionados, say guten tag to the new Porsche 911 Targa. The 991-series iteration pays perhaps the biggest homage yet to the original 1965 model. It features a wide Targa bar in place of the B-pillars (with triple gills and ‘targa’ lettering, no less), a retractable powered soft-top and a wrap-around rear window with no C-pillars.

At the push of a button, the rear window tilts open rearwards, allowing access to the soft-top stowage compartment beneath it. At the same time, two flaps in the Targa bar open to release the soft-top, which folds into a Z-shape and tucks itself into the stowage compartment behind the back seats. Then the Targa bar flaps close before the rear window returns to its original position.

This 19-second origami show is quite a sight to behold, and since the Porsche 911 Targa must be stationary for all of it to happen, all onlookers have to do is stand and stare. While al fresco, a wind deflector integrated in the cowl panel frame can be manually erected to reduce interior buffeting.

Considerable engineering effort has gone into the roof system. The soft-top is stretched taut by the magnesium roof shell and panel bow, while an additional sound absorber below the soft-top covering works to provide thermal insulation and cut road noise. The soft top’s rear edge is connected to the Targa bar, which features steel roll-over protection on the inside and painted cast aluminium elements on the outside.

The rear window is made from lightweight laminated safety glass. It consists of two layers of thin, partially pre-tensioned glass separated by a film interlayer. It’s heated, too – the very fine heating elements cover almost the entire surface of the glass.

Step inside and you’ll find a black fabric-lined front roof element and a Targa bar trimmed in black Alcantara. The large, curved rear window allows plenty of light inside, contributing to cabin airiness even with the roof closed.

The new Porsche 911 Targa comes in 4 and 4S versions, both with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) AWD and Porsche Stability Management (PSM). A seven-speed manual is standard; the PDK twin-clutcher and Sport Chrono Package are optional. Equipped with these two options, the Targa 4’s 350 hp 3.4 litre flat-six helps it do the century sprint in 4.8 seconds before reaching a 280 km/h top speed. NEDC fuel economy is rated between 8.7 and 9.5 litres per 100 km; CO2 emissions between 204 and 223 grams per km.

With a 400 hp 3.8 litre flat-six in its tail, the Targa 4S does 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 294 km/h, again with the PDK and Sport Chrono Package fitted. Here, NEDC fuel economy is rated between 9.2 and 10 litres per 100 km; CO2 emissions between 214 and 237 grams per km. These figures place the Targa twins on par with the Carrera 4 Cabriolet variants in terms of performance and efficiency. In fact, both models are nearly identical up to the window line.

Both the Targa 4 and Targa 4S boast a leather interior, sports seats, auto climate control, bi-xenon headlamps, a 7.0-inch colour touch-screen with Porsche Communication Management and sat-nav, digital radio and MP3 compatibility. The Targa 4S adds 20-inch alloys, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) with rear limited-slip diff.