Look everyone… it’s the new Porsche 911 Targa

For those that don’t know, a Targa top roof is one where only a portion of the roof section is removable, directly above the front passenger seats, featuring a full width roll bar behind the seats providing support for the rear screen. The name was coined by Porsche in 1967 when, fearing US regulators would ban fully convertible cars, the company designed and built a 911 with just a small section of the roof being removable. So the Targa was born.

The name itself came from the famed road race in Italy called the Targa Florio in which Porsche had enjoyed a fair amount of success over the years. The word ‘targa’ itself means ‘shield’ in Italian and so is fitting considering the removable roof panel vaguely resembles a shield.

The Targa has been with us in pretty much every 911 model since, skipping only the 993 911 variant (apologies for the anorak moment). In the early hours of this morning global embargo on the new 911 Targa was lifted, unveiling a continuation of this now iconic nameplate. This new derivative of the existing 911 range continues the current design theme with pronounced features, like the front wheel arches. Its rear is dominated by its wider, variably extending rear spoiler and full length light bar. With the exception of the front and rear sections, the entire outer skin is made from aluminium. The interior mimics its coupe and convertible counterparts with a fairly simple and pared back ethos featuring fewer buttons, driving more control from the infotainment system. The dashboard cluster features five configurable dials to show pertinent information, while also mimicking 911 dashboard layout from the ’70s.

The roof mechanism itself is no different from the previous generation, opening and closing the glass expanse automatically in 19 seconds. The glass panel ends up slightly above and in front of the engine, which is housed in the rear of the car of course.

That engine is what you’d find in the existing 911 range, being a six-cylinder, three-litre boxer engine with twin turbochargers. The 911 Targa 4 now delivers 283 kW and, in combination with the optional Sport Chrono package, accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds. The engine in the 911 Targa 4S boasts 331 kW and reaches the 100 km/h mark in just 3.6 seconds under the same conditions. Those times are of course using the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission but there is a better option, being a seven speed manual should three pedals be your cup of tea.

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You’ll have noted above that there is a 4 in the model names for the Targa. That denotes the fact that all Targa’s are all wheel drive, an area in with Porsche has done a fair amount of development, especially focused on the front axle. The clutch and differential unit is water-cooled and has reinforced clutch discs for greater robustness and a higher load capacity. The increased actuating torque at the clutch improves its adjustment accuracy and the function of the drive going through the axle. This area of development is largely responsible for the increased performance of this new Targa range.

Local pricing is yet to be announced, nor when it might land on our shores. First units worldwide are to be delivered in September 2020.