THE NEW EIGHTH GENERATION 911 INCLUDES A REDESIGNED TARGA 4 A MODEL THAT COMBINES HARD TOP CONVENIENCE WITH OPEN AIR THRILLS
BY EVAN MONROE
With the certain knowledge that the following pronouncement will generate protest in these editorial circles, the Porsche 911 is the most iconic sports car ever conceived. Even eight design generations after Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche made his first sketch of the coupé in 1959 one larger and more powerful than the Porsche 356 model it replaced and 56 years since the 911’s debut at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, it retains essentially the same simple and fantastically sexy curvilinear shape. Early models prompted management expert Gary Hamel to opine that the car is “so gorgeous and lust worthy that you want to lick it,” while author and pundit P. J. O’Rourke observed more dryly (literally) that his was just a “simple, straightforward little thing that goes like stink. I love it.”
Porsche had the marketing wit over the years to simply pile capability upon capability without tampering with 911 essentials, and yes, it certainly occupies a higher price category now than when it was released in the Johnson administration (model prices for the new generation start at $91,000), but there is still no true analog in the market in terms of simultaneous poise, design, fun, and brand zing.
In addition to subtle exterior tweaks, eighth generation members Targa 4 and Targa 4S pro t from increases in both sporting characteristics and comfort, including turbocharged engines that are more powerful but consume less gas than previous Targas, improved all wheel drive dynamics and new driving safety systems, and an adaptive Porsche Active Suspension Management chassis that can adjust to maximize either sporty or relaxed driving inclinations. Targa models stand out clearly from both the 911 coupé and cabriolet variants combining the classic open air concept with the convenience of a hard top. Like the original Targa, it has the characteristic wide bar in place of B pillars, a removable roof section over the front seats, and a wraparound rear window without C pillars. The roof segment can be opened and closed at the push of a button (soft top is stowed behind the rear seats).
The all new interior was inspired by 911 models from the 1970s not least in its clean and straight dashboard lines and recessed instruments. Alongside the central tachometer, two thin and frameless freeform displays supply information to the driver. The center screen is now 10.9 inches, and can be operated without distraction thanks to new interface architecture. Located underneath is a compact switch unit with five button access to important vehicle functions. There’s also an online navigation system on hand (based on swarm data), as well as Porsche Connect Plus, which features an LTE telephone module with SIM card slot for excellent reception and voice quality. Its wireless Internet access point provides in car online access for WLAN enabled devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
The 3 liter bi-turbo six cylinder motor achieves 370 horsepower, good for a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.5 seconds (4.1 with the optional Sport Chrono Package). Output for [POETRY IN MOTION] Porsche Monmouth 280 NJ 36, West Long Branch, NJ / 877.672.8784 / porschemonmouth.com the Targa 4S has been increased to 420 horsepower. A seven speed manual transmission comes standard (and highly recommended by your editors), but an automatic is available as an option. Brake assist, electronic stability control, rollover protection, and traction control all come standard as well, with blind spot monitoring optional.
The 911 Targa 4 starts at $110,300.
PORSCHE HELPS MAKES THE REMARKABLE capabilities of the 911 available to non expert drivers with the help of a traction management system, which varies drive forces to all four wheels depending upon road conditions ensuring optimum traction and performance, even in the winter wet.
THE EXTERIOR DESIGN IS COMPLETELY NEW, and emphasizes a leap in performance for the eighth generation 911. Significantly wider housings arch over the 20inch front and 21inch rear wheels. At the front, the body is just under two inches wider, and flush integration of the electrical pop out door handles highlights the tapered and smooth side contours.
“PORSCHE ROAD TRIP” IS AN OPTION THAT supports enthusiasts in planning, organizing, and navigating special trips. The curated routes it offers include exclusive hotel and restaurant recommendations as well as points of interest and viewpoints along the route.
FOR A 370-HORSEPOWER sports car that tops out at 179 miles per hour, the Targa 4 achieves a remarkable combined fuel economy of 22 miles per gallon.
280 NJ 36, West Long Branch, NJ / 877.672.8784 /