Everything you need to know about the new 2020 Porsche 911 Targa
Porsche on Monday unveiled its all-new 911 Targa — the latest addition to the 992 model range that launched locally in 2019. A throwback to the original Targa model that first saw the light of day back in 1965, this newcomer sports an unmistakable silhouette thanks to its distinctive silver roll bar and dome-shaped rear window. Indeed, the Targa is a looker.
It's also a unique offering as it manages to bridge the gap between the existing Coupé and Cabriolet models. Push a button and within 19 seconds the Targa's compact fabric roof stows neatly beneath the rear glass section to give you a novel take on wind-in-your-hair motoring. Leave the roof up, however, and the experience is eerily Coupé-like. So I guess you could say that the 911 Targa is a convertible for people who don't like convertibles.
Fancy top aside, the shiny new Targa offers typically spirited Porsche performance and is for the time being available in two derivatives. First up is the Targa 4 that produces 283kW and 450Nm worth of torque courtesy of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder boxer engine. Bolted to an eight-speed PDK transmission it will scamper from standstill to 100km/h in as little as 4.2 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 289km/h. Yep, it's no slouch.
Next up is the Targa 4S that sports the same engine but is tuned to deliver 331kW and 530Nm worth of torque. Also available with that aforementioned eight-speed PDK transmission, this range-topping Targa will blast to 100km/h in a mightily impressive 3.6 seconds. Maximum speed? You're looking at 304km/h on a long enough stretch of road.
911 Targa 4S owners also have the no-cost option of swapping that PDK transmission out for a seven-speed manual gearbox that comes bundled together with a Sport Chrono package as standard. This variant offers a more purist driving experience at the expense of acceleration — Porsche claims that it will reach 100km/h in a slightly slower 4.4 seconds.
No matter which model of Targa you choose, all come fitted with an intelligent all-wheel drive system designed to provide maximum traction across a broad spread of road conditions. Torque is distributed seamlessly to the front axle as and when it is required: an unseen safety net that allows the driver to exploit the car to its true dynamic potential.
Another feature standard across the new 911 Targa range is Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) that automatically adjusts the car's damping characteristics to suit real-time driving conditions. It also has two manually adjustable maps: Normal and Sport. A fully variable, electronically controlled differential lock for the rear axle including Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV Plus) is part of the standard equipment list on the PDK-equipped Targa 4S and can be ordered for the Targa 4 at extra cost. Wet Mode is standard across the board for much-improved traction and stability across rain-soaked asphalt.
As is the new normal with the current 911 range, all Targa models sport mixed tyre sizes front and rear to bolster vehicle balance and improve handling characteristics on the limit. The front axle of the Targa 4 gets 19-inch alloy wheels shod with 235/40 ZR tyres while the rear wears 20-inch wheels and 295/35 ZR tyres. The 4S is fitted with 20-inch wheels and 245/35 ZR tyres up front and 21-inch wheels and 305/30 ZR tyres at the rear.
Braking duties on the Targa 4 are taken care of on both axles by 330mm brake discs with black four-piston monobloc fixed calipers. The Targa 4S has six-piston calipers on the front axle and four-piston calipers on the rear, all finished in red. Brake discs are 350mm front and rear. The mighty Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) package is optional.
Other options for the Targa 4S include rear axle steering as well as Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC). The latter features active anti-roll bars that virtually eliminate body roll when cornering.
Finally, making an appearance in a 911 for the first time, are new Porsche InnoDrive and Smartlift systems. Porsche InnoDrive extends the functions of the adaptive cruise control system by predictively optimising the driving speed for up to three kilometres in advance.
Using the navigation data, it calculates the optimum acceleration and deceleration values for the next three kilometres and activates them via the engine, PDK gearbox and braking system. This electronic co-pilot automatically takes into account corners and gradients, as well as speed limits if needed. The driver has the possibility of setting the maximum speed at any time. The system detects the current traffic situation using radar and video sensors and adapts control accordingly. The system even recognises roundabouts.
Like with the conventional adaptive cruise control system, the radar and video sensors also monitor the distance to the traffic ahead and continuously adjust this distance accordingly
Another feature of Porsche InnoDrive is Traffic Jam Assist. At speeds up to around 60km/h, the system uses gentle steering inputs to keep the vehicle in the middle of its lane, controls the distance to the vehicles in front and also follows the vehicles in the queue ahead within the system limitations. For this, Traffic Jam Assist bases its control function on lane markings and other vehicles on the road.
The optional Smartlift function allows the front end to be lifted automatically at corresponding locations where the vehicle is driven regularly. With the electrohydraulic system fitted to the front axle, the ground clearance of the front apron can be increased by around 40mm. The system saves the GPS co-ordinates of the car's current position at the push of a button. If the driver approaches this position from the same direction again, the front of the car will lift up automatically.
So when can you buy one and how much will it cost? Well Porsche SA is yet to confirm pricing of the new 911 Targa range but delivery will be possible in the fourth quarter of 2020.