Headed for SA: Porsche reveals specifications and arrival date for all-new 911 Targa models

In 1965, at the International Motor Show held in Frankfurt, Germany, Porsche stunned the world with the introduction of a new 911 model.

This car, called the Targa, was a new benchmark for the automaker, as it blended the lines, rules, and dynamism of both the 911 cabriolet and coupé. Since then, every new 911 range had a Targa model, which only bolstered the range and underlined the 911 as a fully comprehensive sports car.

In May 2020, Porsche revealed its next-generation Targa - the eighth in a lineage of Targa models. Features that set the Targa apart from its cabriolet and coupé siblings include its fully automatic roof system, the wide Targa roll bar, and wraparound rear window.

The new 911 Targa does not veer too far from its siblings and is still recognizable as a member of the latest 911 family, especially by those pronounced wheel arches.

The latest model features a twin-turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine available in two states of tune - each powering the 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S.

Porsche 911 Targa

2021 Porsche 911 Targa. Image: Porsche NewsRoom

Drivetrains and performance

As the '4' in the Targa's name suggests, the sports car is equipped with Porsche's famed all-wheel-drive system. According to Porsche, the front-axle sees an upgrade that improves traction and road-holding in all driving conditions.

Furthermore, the clutch and differential unit is now water-cooled, and upgrades to the clutch discs allow the gearbox to handle the greater power outputs.

WATCH: Here's why the all-electric Porsche Taycan could be the most important new car in 2020

As alluded to earlier, one engine is available in the Targa range. In the Targa 4, the engine produces 283kW (at 6500rpm) and 450Nm between 1950 - 5000rpm. The engine in the Targa 4S, says Porsche, is good for 331kW and 530Nm, available from 2300 - 5000rpm. Respectively, the 4 and 4S's power outputs are 11kW and 22kW more than their predecessors'.

Porsche claims a 0-100km/h time of 4.2 seconds for the 911 Targa 4, whereas the Targa 4S only needs 3.6sec. Top speeds are 289km/h and 304km/h, respectively.

Porsche 911 Targa

2021 Porsche 911 Targa. Image: Porsche NewsRoom

Driving modes

Standard across the 911 range, including the new Targa models, is Porsche's suspension management system, called PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management). The system allows the car to adjust its damping characteristics automatically, but the driver can choose between Normal and Sport - if they so want.

READ: The most powerful Porsche 911 Turbo S is headed for SA - we have pricing and details

Another driving mode is Wet. Porsche says that when the sensors in the front wheel arches detect 'significant levels of surface water', a signal on the instrument cluster will recommend the driver to activate this mode manually.

Optional on the Targa 4 but standard on the 4S, is Porsche's Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) – a system that includes an electronic rear diff-lock that distributes the torque between the rear tyres.

porsche 911 targa

2021 Porsche 911 Targa. Image: Porsche NewsRoom

Need to know

Porsche says that while the cabriolet and coupé are very popular, the Targa has its unique niche and market. The car is a part of the 911 range, but it does without a few aspects: 1) it does not feature a rear-wheel-drive model, and 2) there are no plans to introduce a more powerful Turbo model. 

The engine is the same one as used in the Carrera and Carrera S, and is mated to one of two gearboxes. Porsche's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is by far a popular choice across the range, but the manual transmission very almost did not make the cut. Porsche says that the manual accounts for 3 - 5% of all 911 sales,  but there were merit to add its seven-speed manual transmission to the Targa.

SEE: Pole position! This Porsche 'finds' a unique parking spot in Cape Town - here's how Twitter reacted

Porsche also notes that the 911 range, as a whole, will not be powered by four-cylinder engines. Ever. With Euro7 regulations looming in 2026, Porsche says that it is looking at hybrid and electric powertrains for its 911. The issue is that these two options are not light, in terms of weight, so the automaker has to find the lightest way possible to introduce hybridization to the 911 without affecting driving traits negatively.

The new 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S will arrive in South Africa during the fourth quarter of 2020, with the first models set to arrive in other global markets in September.

Porsche 911 Targa
2021 Porsche 911 Targa. Image: Porsche NewsRoom

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