This may be news to our country’s political leaders, but “compromise” is not a dirty word. In fact, the idea of give-and-take can create something truly compelling. In the automotive area, the 2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS stands as proof.
The 911’s Targa body style is already an example of compromise. Its top effectively combines the characteristics of rear-engine sports car coupe and convertible body styles, while mastering the nature of neither. The Targa’s retractable roof panel and giant glass rear window sacrifice some of the chassis stiffness and lighter curb weight of the Carrera coupe, as well as some of the immersive open-air experience offered by the Carrera convertible’s folding top. In addition, the Targa offers more wind-in-your-hair excitement than the coupe and superior roof-top visibility for the convertible. The 911 Targa’s conjugal qualities may satisfy both the coupe and convertible orthodoxies, but will appeal to many. In other words, the baking style has the characteristics of a good compromise.
The 911 Targa 4 GTS takes this idea even further. While the Carrera GTS coupe and cabriolet have a 911 Turbo suspension system with full rear springs, the Targa 4 GTS uses an arrangement from the lesser 911 Targa 4S. (This setup is also a no-cost option on Carrera GTS coupe and convertible models.) Along with an additional 0.4 inches of ride height compared to the coupe and convertible, the Targa 4 GTS comes with softer adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars. The result is a GTS-badged 911 with a firm but forgiving ride, something we can’t say about the overly stiff Carrera GTS.
Predictably, the softer suspension of the Targa 4 GTS takes a toll on lateral dynamics, with the added weight of the Targa’s power-folding roof panel and standard all-wheel-drive system exacerbating it. Body roll is ever so slightly more prevalent, and understeer rears its head just a bit earlier relative to the rear-drive Carrera GTS models we tested. If the Carrera accentuates the “S” in “GTS,” then the Targa plays up the “GT” side of the equation.
This is a concession that only the most hardcore drivers will regret. Because even with its softer suspension setting, the Targa 4 GTS handles with excessive tenacity. Its staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires may have cried 0.03 g to those on a 336-pound lighter rear-drive Carrera GTS we tested in July, but the Targa’s 1.03 g stick still the driver works exceptionally hard to exceed this car’s lateral limits on public roads.
As expected of a 911, the Targa 4 GTS’s steering is as precise as a Zenith watch and as chatty as a startup CEO pitching to Silicon Valley VCs. Our test car’s $2,090 optional rear-axle steering system further enhanced these qualities by enhancing the already responsive attitude of the 911’s wheel.
Pin down the throttle and the Targa 4 GTS’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six unleashes the same 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque as its Carrera kin—gains of 30 horses and 30 pound-feet relative to 911s that power the S wearing badge. Equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and launch control, this Targa 4 GTS accelerated to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, just 0.1 second behind a rear-drive Carrera GTS coupe we tested in January.
The Targa 4 GTS’s 5-to-60 mph acceleration tells a fuller picture, however, as its 4.2-second run fell 0.3 seconds short of the lighter GTS coupe. Even so, the Targa 4 GTS rocketed from 30 to 50 mph in 2.2 seconds and from 50 to 70 mph in 2.7 seconds, exactly matching the GTS coupe and spewing the same guttural blasts from its custom-tuned exhaust system on every 911 GTS variant is found.
A choice of transmissions
Although our Targa 4 GTS was equipped with the PDK automatic, a seven-speed manual transmission is also available across the GTS line. This free option will probably add a tenth or two to the mile-a-minute pace, but it’s still very fast and a small price to pay for the thrill of rowing your own gears. Still, there’s no shame in letting go of the clutch pedal. Porsche’s automated gearbox has the panache and agility of an Oxford-educated professional gymnast, operating with refinement worthy of a luxury vehicle, yet capable of shifting gears with a speed that no human can match . Paddle shifters allow the driver to take control of gear changes, with the transmission responding almost instantaneously to each satisfying pull of the steering wheel-mounted triggers.
Stepping on the GTS’s firm left pedal is equally gratifying, with the 911 Turbo brakes bringing the 3737-pound Porsche to a stop from 70 mph in 142 feet and hauling it from 100 mph in 285 feet. Both figures beat that of the slimmer stick-shift Carrera GTS coupe by a foot.
The price of power
With a starting price of $158,150, the Targa 4 GTS stickers for $19,600 more than a Targa 4S. Accounting for the additional GTS content shrinks the gap to about half of that. That difference buys the items Porsche withholds from the option sheet of the less powerful 4S, including the brand’s suede-like Race-Tex cloth covering the seats and numerous interior pieces, GTS-specific exterior design cues, and the various above performance goodies.
Of course, optional extras will push the total cost even higher. Our test car tacked on $173,520 and still lacked niceties like power steering column adjustments and full power front seats. Unless money is no object (which it may be at this price point), many Targa 4 GTS customers will have to compromise and forgo some luxury and comfort items to get this high-powered neo-convertible within their budget. to keep
There’s that word again. Compromise. This is the conceptual backbone of the Targa 4 GTS. Walking the line between coupe and convertible and the Carrera GTS and Targa 4S, the more relaxed Targa 4 GTS makes itself a master of many trades as opposed to a master of one. It’s a compromise that all but the most dedicated track warriors and sun worshipers will find worth making.
2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS
Vehicle type: rear engine, four wheel drive, 2+2 passenger, 2 door targa
Base/As Tested: $158,150/$173,520
Options: leather interior in Graphite Blue, $4530; Premium Package (surround camera, power-folding mirrors, Bose surround sound, lane-change assist), $3760; front axle lift, $2770; rear axle steering, $2090; GT Silver Metallic paint, $840; ventilated front seats, $840; Chalk-colored seat belts, $540
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve flat-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 182 inches32981 cm3
Power: 473 hp @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft @ 2300 rpm
8-speed dual clutch automatic
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 16.1-inch ventilated cross-drilled disc/15.0-inch ventilated cross-drilled disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4
F: 245/35ZR-20 (91J) NA1
R: 305/30ZR-21 (100Y) NA1
Wheelbase: 96.5 inches
Length: 178.4 inches
Width: 72.9 inches
Height: 51.2 inches
Passenger volume: 70 feet3
Cargo volume: 5 feet3
Curb weight: 3737 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 2.9 sec
100 mph: 7.1 sec
1/4-mile: 11.1 sec @ 125 mph
130 mph: 12.2 sec
150 mph: 17.3 sec
Results above show 1 foot deployment of 0.2 sec. away.
Roll start, 5–60 mph: 4.2 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.2 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.7 sec
Top speed (mfr’s claim): 190 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 142 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 285 ft
Road holding capacity, 300-foot skid road: 1.03 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 19/17/22 mpg
C/D TEST EXPLAINED
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