Porsche Unveils the 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S (991)
Bringing back the world’s first-ever ‘safety cabriolet’.
In September of 1965 Porsche unveiled the first-ever ‘safety cabriolet’ that was born out of innovation. The original design of the 911 presented Porsche engineers with numerous issues when it came to creating a cabriolet version of the sports car. Creating a true cabriolet would’ve required a hefty investment and redesign into a model that already cost the German automaker a great deal of money. Plus, Porsche was worried about the United States government banning convertible cars for safety reasons. So, the team came up with an innovative design that preserved the 911’s original shape, provided an open-air driving experience, and was able to protect occupants in case of a rollover crash. Thus, in September of 1965 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Porsche 911 Targa was born.
After a short absence from the model lineup, Porsche has revived the ‘Targa’ nameplate for the 991-generation with the 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The name ‘Targa’ refers to the famous Targa Florio race in Sicily that was once the oldest sports car racing event and encompassed a 45-mile circuit. The sporting nature of the name, ease of pronunciation, and translation into “shield” to emphasize the rollover bar, proved to be perfect for the new model.
The new 991 Porsche 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S bring back the classic wide-bar B-pillar with an open glass rear and innovative roof design that keeps the classic coupe profile. Both Targa models share a great deal of design and technology with the Carrera 4 Cabriolet. The classic all-wheel drive widebody is used to emphasize the muscle and power behind the sports car along with the Carbriolet’s window line and shape.
In the new 991-generation 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S, Porsche designed an innovative roof concept that incorporates the classic B-pillar bar from the original model. The system uses a soft top and glass rear window, with the latter being attached to a convertible top compartment lid that opens and tilts at the push of a button. When the top is retracted, two flaps open in the Targa bar, releasing the premium cloth top, which is then folded into a Z-shape and stowed behind the two rear seats. After the top is stowed, the glass window returns to its original position, opening up the sky for passengers. The operation takes 19 seconds and can only be performed while stationary. Porsche also allows for the manual deployment of a wind deflector screen to reduce road noise when the top is open.
Lightweight construction and design was a main focus for engineers when creating the Porsche 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S model. The classic fixed Targa bar incorporates a steel rollover protection feature inside, while the exterior features painted cast aluminum elements along with the classic three gills and ‘Targa’ writing along each side, reminiscent of the original 1965 model. Lightweight aluminum laminated safety glass consisting of two layers of partially pre-tensioned glass with a film interlayer in between is used to create the rear dome-shaped window and provide the cabin with a generous amount of light. Inside of the cloth top is a soft layer of black fabric that coordinates with the black alcantara on the inside of the Targa bar.
Both of the Porsche 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S models come standard with all-wheel drive and rear-biased Porsche Traction Management (PTM) to provide a superb driving experience. Both model variants come standard with a seven-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission.
Powering the Porsche 911 Targa 4 is a 3.4-liter flat-six engine producing 350 horsepower at 7,400 RPM and 287 lb-ft. of torque. When equipped with the quick-shifting dual-clutch PDK transmission and the optional Sport Chrono package, the Targa 4 can accelerate to 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 174 mph. The 911 Targa 4S sports a larger 3.8-liter flat-six generating 400 horsepower at 7,400 RPM and 325 lb-ft. of torque, good for a 0-62 mph time of 4.4 seconds and 184 mph top speed with PDK and Sport Chrono. Both models are Euro 6 emissions complaint.
The new 991-generation Porsche 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S will hit dealerships in March of 2014. Pricing for both models in the United States has not been announced.
Porsche 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S Specifications
Porsche 911 Targa 4:
Displacement: 3.4 liters
Number of Cylinders: Flat-six
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated
Maximum Horsepower: 350 at 7,400 RPM
Maximum Torque: 287 lb-ft.
Porsche 911 Targa 4S:
Displacement: 3.8 liters
Number of Cylinders: Flat-six
Maximum Horsepower: 400 at 7,400 RPM
Maximum Torque: 325 lb-ft.
Types: Seven-speed manual (std.) / Seven-speed dual-clutch PDK (optional)
Drive: All-wheel with PTM standard
911 Targa 4:
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 4.8 seconds (PDK w/Sport Chrono)
Top Speed: 175 mph (PDK w/Sport Chrono)
911 Targa 4S:
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 4.4 seconds (PDK w/Sport Chrono)
Top Speed: 184 mph (PDK w/Sport Chrono)
Porsche 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S Gallery