Looking Closer: 2016 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS
One day in the distant future, perhaps when smartphones are embedded into your brain or trips to the moon are offered as a routine theme park activity, Porsche will significantly alter the design of the 911.
However, that’s very much in the distant future. For now, we’ve got the distinctive, reassuringly familiar and extraordinarily enduring 911 silhouette to enjoy, and for most of us this is quite enough. There exists a minority, however, who bemoan the 911’s evolutionary form and for them, the 2016 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS might just fit the bill.
Porsche dynamics with edgy, striking design
This sexy and purposeful sports car retains the exemplary driving characteristics and raw performance figures of its fellow 911 cousins but adds in a healthy serving of exclusivity with its semi-convertible shape. Especially when viewed from the rear or side-on, the Targa 4 GTS differentiates itself with a much wider, curved rear screen and silver rollover protection bar, inscribed with the special Targa brand insignia in glossy black. With the fully automatic top stowed, you can expect much in the way of open-air driving fun.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Targa, Porsche is offering this all-wheel drive GTS version of the model for the first time. Power is rated at 430 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque, enough to complete the 0-60 mph blast in 4,1 seconds. You’ll also be able to reach a top speed of 187 mph, but this is best attempted with the top closed, as the wind buffeting at those speeds might just be enough to remove your eyeballs from their sockets… Further aiding ultimate performance is the sports car’s relatively light weight of 3400 pounds.
The seven-speed PDK transmission, together with the torque vectoring and traction management systems already experienced on other Porsche models such as the Boxster GTS, add to the Targa 4’s razor sharp responses.
Inside, you can get snug in four-way adjustable Sports Plus seats featuring the GTS logo on the head restraints. Black Alcantara makes up the bulk of the interior trim, a sensible option considering that the cabin will be exposed to more of the elements compared to the hard-top models.
A look at sales numbers show that Porsche has already sold more Targas in the first eight months of 2015 than it had throughout 2014. This is despite the hefty $132 000 asking price for this model, before any options are added (some of them will make it hard for you to resist, such as the fantastic Bose sound system and the adaptive sports seats – after all, the stylish Targa is about appealing to all your senses).
Another Porsche milestone to celebrate
As mentioned it was 50 years ago when Porsche first coined the ‘Targa’ designation to describe this 911’s unique body style, and considering the increasing sales success of the modern versions, it was a winning move to further build upon the feats achieved by the standard 911. The Targa 4 GTS is the pinnacle of this model line and combines Porsche’s second-to-none mechanical expertise with a fiery design that’s sure to turn plenty of heads.