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Targa returns for 992-series Porsche. Image by Porsche AG.

Targa returns for 992-series Porsche
Eighth-generation Porsche 911 gains the ‘best-of-both-worlds’ Targa, in 4 and 4S derivatives.
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What's all this about?

Fans of retro-cool, rejoice; the Porsche 911 Targa is making a return for the 992-generation sports car. It marks the third body style in the family, after the Coupe and the Cabriolet, and it will launch initially only with four-wheel drive. That means the rear-driven Targa of the modern day (as the 1967 original was RWD) is still not a possibility. As yet.

OK, but what power figures do we have for this beauty?

As the model names denote, the Targa 4 has the 385hp entry-level output, while the Targa 4S utilises the 450hp unit. Both of these are twin-turbocharged, 3.0-litre flat-sixes, the main difference between non-S and S being the size of the blowers, but here's some good news: there are three models of Targa available from launch.

Eh? How so?

Well, both the Targa 4 and the Targa 4S come with the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission as standard, but the recently announced seven-speed manual no-cost option for the more potent 450hp 911s is going to be offered on the Targa. You pay a little bit of an eco-penalty for having three pedals in your Targa 4S's footwell, with 27.4mpg and 235g/km CO2 for the manual comparing to 28.5mpg and 227g/km for the PDK, but we're betting some people will be willing to take that hit. Although there's an argument that the PDK better suits the Targa's stylish-cruiser character better. However, we digress; for the record, the 385hp Targa 4 PDK is obviously the greenest of the three launch models, with 28.8mpg and 223g/km.

I'm not interested in fuel economy, ta. Can you give me the more important digits?

Fair enough. At 385hp/450Nm, the Targa 4 is hardly what you'd call slow. Equip it with the optional Sport Chrono package and it will run 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds, a tenth quicker than its immediate predecessor. Step up to the 450hp/530Nm Targa 4S PDK and the 0-62mph time drops to a startling 3.6 seconds (again, with Sport Chrono), which is four-tenths of a second quicker than the old 991 Targa 4S. You'll also get 180mph flat out from the Targa 4 and 189mph from the Targa 4S. Meanwhile, the fancy one-piece rollbar-and-rear-screen roof mechanism from the 991 Targa is carried over, meaning you can put this 992 open-top through its roof-stashing kerbside gymnastics in just 19 seconds.

And what about prices?

No word as yet, although the old 991 Targa was a touch cheaper than the 991 Cabriolet. So if that pattern holds, you'd have to be expecting a Targa 4 to be less than £103,000 and the 4S to undercut £108,000 or thereabouts, although they'll be more money than their fully tin-top siblings, of course (a Carrera 4S Coupe is about £98,500, for reference).

OK, what else can you tell me about the tech?

All 992 Targas will be equipped with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard, while the 4S version additionally enjoys Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) with an electronic rear-diff lock. Mind, if you go for the seven-speed manual 4S, you get PTV Plus with a mechanical limited-slip diff and Sport Chrono as standard (which also includes a Porsche Stability Management Sport mode, dynamic engine mounts, a stopwatch and the Porsche Track Precision app). Elsewhere, the innovative Porsche Wet Mode will be seen on all models, too, while the Targa 4 rolls on a 235/40 ZR19 front, 295/35 ZR20 alloy-and-tyres package from the factory, with the 4S increased to 245/35 ZR20 front and 305/30 ZR21 rear items. Even the braking systems are different, with the Targa 4 employing 330mm discs with black four-piston monobloc callipers, while the 4S has bigger 350mm stoppers with six-piston front, four-piston rear red-painted callipers. Fans of eye-popping deceleration can option up Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) if they like.

The Targa has LED headlights with four-point DRL signatures up front and a wider, variably extending rear spoiler above that distinctive full-width taillight-bar. Active aerodynamics are a feature of the Targa line-up, just as they are on other 992s, and inside there's the latest Porsche 911 cabin with the 10.9-inch Porsche Communication Management (PCM) touchscreen infotainment dominating the design. A wind deflector integrated into the cowl-panel frame reduces top-down buffeting in the car between 31- and 90mph, while the standard Park Assist system monitors behind the 911 Targa to ensure there's nothing in the immediate vicinity that might damage the rear section of the roof if you were to try and raise/lower it when parked close to obstacles.

Further highlights include a four-branch exhaust system with map-controlled variable flaps and a Sports exhaust system as an upgrade (this being recognisable thanks to a pair of oval tailpipes), the option of Rear-Axle Steering (RAS) and also Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) with its active anti-roll bars on the Targa 4S, the '930 leather' package which evokes the original 1970s 911 Turbo, and not one but two possible enhancements of the standard Sound Package Plus audio system, these being a 570-watt Bose or a more potent 855W Burmester set-up. Either of these is channelled through a 12-speaker system.

Is that it, then, for open-top 992s?

It might be, unless Stuttgart reckons it can do a follow-up to the sen-sodding-sational 911 Speedster, of course, bring your soft-top choices for the current 911 line-up to three distinct variables. Here's hoping.

Matt Robinson - 18 May 2020

2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.

2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.2020 Porsche 911 Targa 992. Image by Porsche AG.    - Porsche road tests
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