Porsche 911 Targa (2020) – ultra-modern coolitude

In short

Profound evolution of the 991

Engines with two particulate filters

Targa only in 4 wheel drive

We are not going to repeat the history of the Porsche 911. Yes ? So briefly. At the end of 1963, Porsche presents the one that will replace its 356: it is the 901. Designed under the aegis of Bützi Porsche, it retains the architecture of its predecessor: it is a four-seater with a rear engine whose cylinders are dish. Except this time, there are no longer four but six, and that changes everything! To be sure not to alienate the 356’s customers, the manufacturer decided to keep the front fenders visually detached from the bonnet, even if this detail was no longer modern at the time.


The car is very well received … except by Peugeot, who filed all three-digit numbers with a zero in their center. Never mind, the 901 was renamed 911 after 82 copies were delivered, and success quickly came. So much so that the history of Porsche becomes inseparable from that of the 911!


In 1966, she discovered herself … partially. A convertible was well considered, but it required to greatly strengthen the body, which was too expensive. Also, Porsche is inaugurating an intermediate solution by installing a roll bar, which will be school. On the first models, the hard top was removable and the flexible rear window was removed, before becoming fixed because it changed to glass (heated) in 1968. This type of body, patented by the manufacturer in 1965, is referred to as Targa as a reference. at the Targa Florio, a prestigious Italian race where he has shone since the 1950s.

The 911 benefited from a deep restyling at the end of 1973, where it received bellows bumpers (this is the Typ G), and was available from 1975 as a Turbo. Then, it will evolve only in detail during more than ten years, receiving all the same a true convertible version in 1982. In September 1988, very clearly recast, the Porsche 911 adopts the type 964, which brings in particular the four-wheel drive , before becoming 993 at the end of 1993 (redesigned ends, McPherson suspensions). In 1997, the unthinkable struck the self-esteem of the purists: the 911 went into the water. For the cooling of its engine. Worse, the 996, which inaugurates this evolution, shares its entire front part with the Boxster! But success will be there, because it is an excellent car.

Porsche 911 (996)
Porsche 911 (996)
Porsche 911 (997)
Porsche 911 (997)
Porsche 911 (991)
Porsche 911 (991)

Then, the legendary German will follow a well-structured evolution: restyling during the career, then deep modifications justifying a change of type. So the 996 changed in 2001 before becoming 997 in 2004, this one benefitting from a nice round of improvements in 2008 then giving way to the 991 in 2011. With new structure and suspensions, this generation was updated in 2015 (it then lost its atmos engines in its current versions), then replaced in 2019 by the 992, similar but improved in all respects. The 992 has been combined since the release of containment in Turbo as well as in Targa, and it is this discoverable that we are testing today, in version 4S, that is to say with the supercharged flat-six of 450 hp. Our car receives the PDK double clutch transmission, a manual control being available as a free option on the 4S. All Targa have all-wheel drive, certainly because customers use this model for the most serene use possible and not for sport.

With the 992, Porsche takes an original approach to say the least: sprinkle retro touches on a car that is already in essence, even if its body is aluminum. Because the architecture and the current look of the Porsche follow directly from that of 1963. Thus, the biting front hood on the bumper evokes that of the Typ G, just like the red strip between the taillights.

Very functional

The instrumentation mixes classicism and modernity.
The instrumentation mixes classicism and modernity.

On board, the same goes for the instrument cluster, which recovers its original silhouette, but the nostalgia stops there. Well almost. Because if the display is digital, therefore ultramodern and configurable, the tachometer, analog, retains a good old needle very tangible. A very nice detail!

Then, the manufacture of the cockpit impresses: the quality of materials and their assembly reaches a remarkable level. In addition, functionality remains a strong point: access on board, visibility, roominess (for two) and storage have been taken care of. This is not the case with all sports cars, far from it, and it has, in my opinion, largely contributed to the success of the 911 from the beginning.

The place is counted at the back.
The place is counted at the back.

The rear seats? They can only be used at best for short distance repair. More pragmatically, we will put luggage there. If you were to buy this car for carpooling, you risk a bad appreciation on the dedicated apps!

Fortunately, the driving position is just perfect, as are the seats in our example, with extensive electric adjustments (charged € 2,280). The use of technological equipment takes a bit of getting used to, but let’s recognize that no manufacturer has achieved irreproachable ergonomics in this area. A detail to report all the same: the reminder of the door opening handle is very strong. If you get your finger stuck there, it will hurt you!

The kinematics of the roof is a marvel.
The kinematics of the roof is a marvel.

Since the 991, the Targa roof is a splendor of kinematics when you observe the operation (which takes 19 s). The bubble-shaped rear window lifts and then moves back to accommodate the canvas above the passengers. In doing so, the window surround hides the rear lights, making the operation illegal when driving, so it can only take place when stationary. Personally, I liked the sliding panoramic roof of the 993 Targa, which was completed on the 996-997 with an opening rear window, very practical for sliding objects into the passenger compartment.

But the 992 takes advantage of the arch which adds a touch of originality to its famous line, and the balance nicely.

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