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Porsche is giving a mid-cycle refresh to its cornerstone 911 lineup, and while we saw the updated 991.2-generation in RWD form last September, it’s time for the AWD variants to get some love. That includes the stylish

tops, which get the same revisions as their RWD counterparts, including mildly modified styling, the latest infotainment gear, and most importantly, a twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-six engine.

Thanks to a healthy serving of boost, this new powerplant offers both higher output and greater efficiency compared to the outgoing model. And when paired with four-wheel grip, the AWD 911s will actually out-accelerate their RWD counterparts, a first in the model’s history.

So then – new looks, new tech, AWD traction, and a new engine, plus all the latest go-fast goodies Porschephiles have come to expect over the years. And topping it all off is that classic semi-convertible roof.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Porsche Targa 4.


2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Porsche isn’t exactly known for huge styling changes between 911 model years, and this latest refresh is no different. There are, however, a few subtle updates to point out.

First, the front bumper is slightly modified. The front intakes are now a bit smoother and the daytime running lights are slimmer four-point units. The headlights are also new.

you get that unique open-top style, complete with silver Targa-bar B-pillars and wrap-around rear window glass

On the flanks, the door handles now come without recess covers for a much cleaner look. Moving to the rear, you’ll find a new decklid with vertical louvers, rather than the old model’s horizontal design. Below this sit new four-point taillights connected by a single 3D light strip. This strip illuminates the rear end, but it also accentuates the Targa’s broader dimensions, which gain an extra 44 mm (1.73 inches) in width compared to the tail on RWD models.

Of course, being a Targa, you get that unique open-top style, complete with silver Targa-bar B-pillars and wrap-around rear window glass. All together, the Targa offers the suggestion of a roofline when viewed in profile, which to my eye, looks far better than the topless Cabriolet. It’s unlimited headroom, but in a more graceful package.

Sun and sky is just a button away – push it, and the retractable soft-top roof cover neatly folds behind the seats.


2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Interior
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2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Interior
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2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Interior
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Inside is more or less the same performance-oriented layout offered previously – you still get a button-laden center console with a large touchscreen, a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, a tachometer mounted centrally in the gauge pod, well-bolstered seats, and top-notch materials.

the 911 takes plenty of cues from its faster, more expensive siblings, starting with the new steering wheel

Updates mostly revolve around the standard Porsche Communication (PCM) infotainment system, which Porsche calls “completely new,” starting with a fresh 7-inch multi-touch display. There’s also standard navigation that can accept hand-written inputs. Included is a free one-year subscription for real-time traffic info, remote vehicle data retrieval, Google StreetView, and internet radio. Smartphone connectivity comes courtesy of the onboard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a simple hardwire connection.

As expected, the 911 takes plenty of cues from its faster, more expensive siblings, starting with the new steering wheel. This unit is offered with a design similar to the steering wheel found on the 918 Spyder, measuring in at 375 mm (14.76 inches) in standard trim. If you’d prefer something smaller, either for quicker inputs or because you’re an overachiever at the gym on leg day, you can opt for the GT Sport steering wheel, which is measured at 360 mm (14.17 inches).

One final option of note is the electro-hydraulic lift feature, which increases front ground clearance by 40 mm (1.57 inches). Push a button, and five seconds later you’ll be able to navigate speed bumps and angled driveways without scraping that finely chiseled, road-hugging Porsche chin.


2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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Redesigned headlights and a smaller steering wheel are fine, but the most important changes are found under the rear decklid. Like the Coupe and Cabriolet, both the 911 Targa 4 and 4S are equipped with Porsche’s new 3.0-liter flat-six powerplant. Displacement is lower than before, but the addition of two turbochargers makes up for it, and the final result is more power and more torque (not to mention up to 12 percent higher efficiency).

The base model Targa 4 produces 370 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque, while the 4S adds modified compressor wheels, a new exhaust, and a new engine tune to bump peak output to 420 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed manual transmission comes standard on both models, while Porsche’s indispensable seven-speed dual-clutch PDK is optional.

The “Individual” mode allows for customized settings for a variety of equipment, including the suspension, PDK transmission, and even the exhaust

Even more speed can be had by way of the optional Sport Chrono Package. Drawing further inspiration from the 918 Spyder, this pack adds a rotary dial to the steering wheel reminiscent of the hybrid map switch found on Porsche’s hybrid halo. Using this, drivers can choose between four different driving modes – “Normal,” “Sport,” “Sport Plus,” and “Individual.” The “Individual” mode allows for customized settings for a variety of equipment, including the suspension, PDK transmission, and even the exhaust. There’s also a “Sport Response Button” that puts it all in max attack for 20-second all-out acceleration bursts.

So then – what’s all that actually mean? Here are some figures to make sense of it all:

Equipped with a manual transmission, the Targa 4 can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, while the addition of a PDK drops that time to 4.3 seconds. Throw in the Sport Chrono Package and 0-to-60 is achieved in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is 179 mph.

Meanwhile, a manual Targa 4S takes 4.2 seconds to hit 60 mph. With a PDK, it’s 4.0 seconds, or 3.8 seconds with a PDK and the Sport Chrono Package. Top speed is 188 mph.

All in all, the heavier Targa models only take an extra 0.2 seconds to reach 60 mph compared to the Coupe. Even more impressive is the fact that, for the first time ever, this AWD 911 accelerates quicker than its RWD equivalent (not including the monster 911 Turbo, of course).

Much of that can be attributed to the electro-hydraulically controlled AWD system, which was adopted from the aforementioned Turbo. Also pulled from the same parts bin is the rear-axle steering system, an available option for 4S models. This offers sharper turn-in, which is great for tight hairpins on the track or quick passing maneuvers on the highway. It also reduces the Targa’s turning radius by about a foot and a half.

Finally, keeping it all rubber-side-down is the standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, which comes with new shock absorbers and lowers the ride height by 10 mm (0.39 inches), all in the name of striking a balance between comfort and sportiness.

Drivetrain Specifications

Porsche Targa 4 Porsche Targa 4S
Cylinder layout / number of cylinders Horizontally Opposed / 6 Horizontally Opposed / 6
Displacement 3.0 l 3.0 l
Engine layout Rear engine Rear engine
Max. Power 370 HP @ 6,500 RPM 420 HP @ 6500
Max. Torque 331 LB-FT 368 LB-FT
Compression ratio 10.0 : 1 10.0 : 1
Top Track Speed 179 MPH 187 MPH
Acceleration 0 - 60 mph 4.5 seconds 4.0 seconds


2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have posted any crash test results for the Porsche 911 Targa, even stretching back several model years. That said, there are a variety of standard safety features worth mentioning, such as full-size two-stage driver and passenger airbags, the Porsche Side Impact Protection System (which includes “side impact protection elements” in the doors and two side-impact airbags per side), an automatically deploying roll-over protection system, and bi-xenon headlights.

There’s also Porsche’s Dynamic Light System offered as an available option, which comes with speed-sensitive beam-range adjustability, adverse weather functionality, and a pivot function that helps to illuminate around corners. Finally, there’s the Porsche Dynamic Light System Plus, which comes with LEDs, plus an automatic high/low beam function.


2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing starts at $108,600 for a Targa 4 equipped with a manual transmission, while the 4S starts at $122,600. If you want a PDK for either model (and odds are you do), expect to pay an additional $3,200. And don’t forget the $1,920 Sport Chrono Package, either.

Then you’ve got all those other options to rack through, like 20-inch wheels (up to $3,560), Adaptive Sport Seats Plus ($3,825), a full-leather interior (up to $5,790), keyless entry and drive ($1,090), Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes ($8,520), the Sport Exhaust System ($2,950)… hell, even a rear wiper is $360.

The point is this – a new 911 can be rather costly, so factor in your desired spec when looking at that MSRP.

Expect availability in April of 2016. In the meantime, we’ll get a closer look at the new 911 Targa at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show this November.

Model Price
Porsche Targa 4 (manual) $108,600
Porsche Targa 4 (PDK) $111,800
Porsche Targa 4S (manual) $122,600
Porsche Targa 4S (PDK) $125,800


Jaguar F-Type

2016 Jaguar F-Type AWD Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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Finding a convertible, AWD sports car in this price range can be tricky, but Jaguar meets Porsche blow-for-blow with the F-Type. Motivation is derived from a supercharged V-6 that produces 380 horsepower, while a standard 8-speed QuickShift automatic transmission puts it to the ground. There’s also continuously variable suspension and a driver-selectable Active Sport Exhaust system, both as standard. Pricing is also a bargain compared to the Porsche, starting at just $87,900. Looking for more? Then check out the F-Type R, which equips a 550-horsepower supercharged V-8. And at only $106,450, the R is still $2,150 less than a base-model Targa 4.

Read our full review here.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster

2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Taking on the 911 is no easy task, but Aston Martin thinks it has the right stuff with the Vantage. Also available as a coupe, this two-seat drop-top uses copious amounts of aluminum to keep the curb weight low, while nestled in the nose is a 430-horsepower, 361-pound-feet powerplant sending power to the rear. Routing it all is a six-speed manual transmission. The Aston a more traditional sports car setup compared to the rear-engine, AWD Porsche, but the result is just as potent – a sprint to 60 mph takes just 4.6 seconds, while top speed is rated at 190 mph.

Read our full review here.


2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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No matter where you stand on the turbo vs NA debate, it’s hard to argue against the end result seen here. Enthusiasts looking for the sharpest throttle response and clearest exhaust note can explore other models in the Porsche stable, but for the majority of buyers out there, the move to boost is a good one.

The new Targa offers the kinds of things most people care about – it’s faster, but also more efficient, it offers lively handling, but also comes with AWD grip, it’s chock-full of the latest technology, but it’s also derived from a highly celebrated pedigree, and thanks to that targa-top, it can both shelter you and invite in the elements. If you really wanted, you could even drive it every day.

Of course, all these great attributes come at a rather steep price, especially if you pick up the options list, but if you’ve got the means, the new 911 Targa 4 and 4S are sure to please.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Turbos might sully the experience for some
Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
About the author

Press Release

With the new 2017 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Targa 4 models, the traction advantage courtesy of an enhanced all-wheel drive system is paired with innovative turbocharged engines that are more powerful and consume less fuel than their predecessors. The standard adaptive PASM chassis (Porsche Active Suspension Management) with its ten-millimeter reduced ride height provides an even greater bridge between agile handling and sophisticated ride comfort. Rear-axle steering is available as an option for the Carrera 4S models and enhances the car’s agility even further. The standard Porsche Communication (PCM) connectivity and infotainment system with a multi-touch display offers simplified usability.

2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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The all-wheel drive models feature the numerous optical refinements of the new 911 Carrera models, including headlights with four-point daytime running lights, door handles without recess covers, a redesigned rear decklid with vertical louvers, and new rear lights with characteristic four-point brake lights. Additionally, the Carrera 4 and Targa 4 variants are distinguished by a light strip between the rear lights which is now particularly distinctive thanks to its three-dimensional design. When illuminated, it reinforces the impression of depth. The light strip also underlines the wider body of the all-wheel drive 911, with the rear width increased by 44 millimeters over the two-wheel drive models.

The refined look of the new 911 range also underlines the sophisticated elegance of the Targa. With its individual design, the new 911 Targa continues to stand out from the Coupé and Cabriolet. It combines the classic Targa design with an advanced roof in spectacular fashion. Like the legendary original Targa, it has the characteristic Targa bar in place of B pillars, a retractable roof section over the front seats, and a wrap-around rear window without C pillars. The roof segment can be opened and closed at the push of a button, with the soft top being stowed behind the rear seats as it opens.

Faster acceleration, reduced fuel consumption

2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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More than four decades of experience with turbocharged Porsche engines used in motor racing and on production sports cars went into the development of the new flat six engines. The result: a new three-liter, flat six twin-turbo engine that sets new standards in performance, driving pleasure, and efficiency, while offering a 20 hp increase compared to the previous engine generation. Thanks to twin-turbo technology, the three-liter, six cylinder engines in the 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Targa 4 develop 370 hp and 331 lb.-ft. of torque. Using turbochargers with modified compressor wheels, a model-specific exhaust system, and different tune for the engine management system, the 4S models deliver 420 hp and 368 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines offer significantly greater torque than their predecessors, which is available across a broad power band from 1700 to 5000 rpm.

Thanks to the new electro-hydraulically controlled all-wheel drive, the 911 Carrera 4 accelerates even better than its comparable two-wheel drive counterpart for the first time. Equipped with PDK and Sport Chrono package, the 911 Carrera 4 sprints from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds (0.3 seconds quicker than the previous model), with the S model taking 3.6 seconds (0.3 seconds less). Targa and Cabriolet models need just 0.2 seconds longer. Top track speeds range from 178 to 189 miles per hour, depending on the transmission and model variant. All 911 Carrera 4 and Targa 4 models come with a seven-speed manual transmission as standard.

Traditionally, every new generation of engines from Porsche combines more output with less consumption. The new all-wheel drive 911 models are up to 12 percent more efficient than their respective predecessors, according to the New European Driving Cycle. EPA figures will be available at a later date.

Adopted from the 918 Spyder: Sport Chrono package with mode switch

In conjunction with the optional Sport Chrono Package, the new 911 models now have a mode switch on the steering wheel for the first time, which has been derived from the hybrid map switch in the 918 Spyder super sports car. The mode switch consists of a rotary dial with four positions for the driving modes "Normal", "Sport", "Sport Plus," and "Individual". Depending on the optional equipment installed in the car, the "Individual" setting lets drivers configure their own individual vehicle setup for the PASM, PDK shifting strategy, and Sport Exhaust system. In conjunction with the PDK transmission, the mode switch has an additional feature, the "Sport Response Button." When this button is pressed, the drivetrain is pre-conditioned for maximum acceleration for up to 20 seconds.

Re-engineered PASM chassis, enhanced electro-hydraulically controlled all-wheel drive

A Porsche 911 with all-wheel drive combines exceptional traction with particularly sporty handling and driving performance. In this new generation, the electro-hydraulically controlled all-wheel drive adopted from the 911 Turbo responds even more quickly and sensitively. This particularly helps aid driver control during sporty driving while maintaining agility. The PASM sport suspension, which lowers the ride height by 10 millimeters compared to the previous model, is fitted as standard to all Carrera models and aids stability during cornering. The new shock absorber generation offers enhanced ride comfort through an even more refined responsiveness, but also reduces body roll during hard cornering.

2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4 High Resolution Exterior
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Rear axle steering is available as an option for the Carrera 4S coupe, Carrera 4S cabriolet, and Targa 4S, adopted from the current 911 Turbo and 911 GT3. It increases the turn-in agility of the 911 and aids driver control during lane changes. At the same time, it ensures greater maneuverability in city traffic thanks to a 1.6 foot reduction of the turning radius. The improved handling is transmitted to the driver via the new steering wheel generation with a design based on that found in the 918 Spyder. The standard steering wheel has a diameter of 375 millimeters; the optional GT Sport steering wheel measures 360 millimeters. For enhanced everyday practicality, Porsche offers an optional electro-hydraulic lift system with lifting cylinders that are integrated into the front axle struts. Ground clearance at the front spoiler lip can be increased by 40 millimeters within five seconds at the touch of a button. This is particularly useful when encountering speed bumps or steep driveways.

Connectivity and infotainment system: PCM with multi-touch display and new functions

The completely new PCM connectivity and infotainment system is standard and integrates new functions around the multi-touch display in the center console that now has a seven-inch format. Also fitted as standard, the navigation system can be operated much more like a smartphone and can also process handwritten input. Drivers can access real-time traffic information with a free one-year subscription. In addition, compatible mobile phones and smartphones can now be integrated more quickly, easily, and extensively than before via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cable. Vehicle-related services such as remote retrieval of vehicle data and Internet-based services such as Google® StreetView and Internet radio are also included in a free one-year subscription.

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