Targa 4s: is this the world’s most desirable Porsche 911?

Porsche’s Targa 4s, a halfway house between coupé and drop-top, is an attractive proposition. Daré Mustapha reports.

The Porsche Targa, when it first appeared in 1965, was “cutting edge”, says Curtis Moldrich in Car magazine. The original idea was to design a safer version of the drop-top. Rather than stripping the roof off completely, the Targa had a removable roof panel. The result was a stiffer and safer car. Now that drop-tops are routinely much safer and sturdier, the Targa would now seem only to combine all the drawbacks of a cabriolet and a coupé. Still, it remains “one of the most desirable” 911s you can buy, even if only for the looks. 

The latest model, the Targa 4s, combines a comfortable ride with an almost instantaneous throttle response and signature constant linear acceleration. It produces 443bhp from a six-cylinder, three-litre engine with twin turbochargers and “puts it to the road” via a refined all-wheel-drive system. “As in the vanilla 4S, Porsche’s four-wheel system is a non-intrusive wonder, quietly diverting power between the axles for the perfect blend of grip and driver engagement.”

That four-wheel-drive system will put off purists looking for a classic 911 driving experience, says Stuart Gallagher in Evo. Still, the all-weather traction and security it brings makes it an attractive proposition for most users and it means that, “when opportunities allow and speeds climb”, it feels “as planted and sure-footed as you would both want and expect”. And the removable roof is stashed away under the rear seats by a slick automatic mechanism in only 19 seconds, making it ideal for English stop-start rainy weather.

The Targa “rides with plenty of purpose”, says Simon Davis in Autocar, but it’s “not so firm that you’d think twice” about using it as a long-legged grand tourer too. This is a sports car in which you could “quite happily endure big-mile schleps”. The rear-driven coupé may be the better driver’s car. The Carrera S Cabriolet is £5,600 cheaper. But the Targa remains an attractive option for those after an all-wheel-drive drop-top. True, much of its draw is its “poser appeal”. “But there’s more driver appeal to go along with that than ever before.” 

Price: £109,725. Top speed: 189mph. 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds. 

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