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Amidst the hype surrounding the newly-launch Ford GT, Shelby GT350R Mustang and new Honda NSX, it’s easy to glance past the Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS, which makes its debut as the first Targa in history to be offered in Porsche’s GTS guise – a treatment consisting of both aesthetic and mechanical upgrades.

Eagle-eyed readers will first notice the wider hips, an exclusive touch to all-wheel drive 911 variants, being 22 mm wider than its rear-driven counterparts. In front, the 911 Targa 4 GTS receives a reworked front bumper and smoked bi-xenon headlights – again a GTS trademark.

Additional GTS badges located aft of the front wheels along with restyled door mirrors are a subtle hint at the car’s more sporting intentions – the black, 20-inch 911 Turbo S wheels with central locks, on the other hand, shout it out loud. The ‘targa’ tag on the rollover bar is now painted black, as opposed to silver.

911 Targa 4 GTS

At the rear, changes are less noticeable with only the air inlet screen, designation badge and chrome exhaust outlets now dressed in black. Providing additional power is a 3.8 litre, flat-six engine pumping out 430 hp at 7,500 rpm and 440 Nm of torque – an increase of 30 hp over the Targa 4S.

Paired to either a seven-speed manual or Porsche’s seven-speed dual-clutch (PDK) transmission, the century sprint is completed in 4.5 and 4.1 seconds, respectively, while top speed is 302 km/h on the manual, the PDK tops out at 300 km/h. Fuel efficiency is said to mirror the Targa 4S.

Other performance goodies which are now standard on the Targa 4 GTS include the aforementioned 20-inch wheels, a sports exhaust system, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the Sport Chrono package, which sports a stopwatch sitting atop the dash when one steps inside.

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Helping to set to mood are a pair of four-way adjustable Sport Plus seats trimmed in a leather/Alcantara combination, complete with GTS logos embossed into the headrests. Alcantara replaces leather almost everywhere else with the dashboard, door panels and centre console receiving the lightweight material.

A contrasting tachometer and optional carbon fibre accents complete the interior makeover. The Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS goes on sale in Germany from March 2015 with an entry price of €137,422 (RM576,400).