This week’s international launch of the Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS at the Ascari race circuit in Spain takes the number of 911 model variants on offer to an astounding 21.
The newest 911 also marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Porsche 911 Targa and the first time a GTS version of the design classic has been built.
It’s also the fifth GTS model that Porsche has released and the fifth such badged variant across the entire 911 range. GTS versions are also available in the Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne and Panamera model lines.
With pricing starting from $305,300 (plus on-road costs) for the seven-speed manual version to $311,250 for the auto (PDK) version, the Targa 4 GTS becomes the most expensive naturally aspirated 911 on offer - pricier even than the hardcore $293,600 GT3.
In line with all Porsche GTS models, the Targa 4 GTS gets enhanced driving dynamics. It’s engine, chassis and electronic control systems have been optimised for more performance. The 3.8-litre flat-six engine is based on the Carrera S powertrain, but power is up 19kW to 316kW at 7700rpm, primarily due to an optimised air induction system. However, torque remains the same at 440Nm at 5750rpm.
With the Sports Chrono package as standard fitment on the 911 Targa 4 GTS, performance is scintillating, with the 911 Targa 4 GTS able to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds with the seven-speed PDK transmission or 4.7sec for the seven-speed manual. Top speed is a claimed 303km/h.
The suspension has also been modified, with shortened spring elements working in concert with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system to provide maximum traction with the all-wheel drive system.
Visually, the 911 Targa 4 GTS differs from its ‘S’ sibling with Black details defining this top-spec version.
At the rear of the car, the badge, the radiator grille and quad exhaust pipes are all finished in black. The wheels are black, too. So are the air intakes and headlamp covers at the front of the car.
It’s the same story inside, with the GTS gaining an exclusive Alcantara steering wheel along with inserts in the seats and door trims. This special material weighs half as much as leather and is used on Porsche racing cars.
Globally, the Targa model is becoming more popular with the 2015 version expected to make up around 15 per cent of 911 sales. Previously it was closer to 5 per cent.
Expect the new 911 Targa 4 GTS to arrive in Australian showrooms in the third quarter of this year.