This may be news to our nation’s political leaders, but “compromise” is not a dirty word. In fact, the notion of give-and-take can create something genuinely compelling. In the automotive arena, the 2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS stands as proof.
The 911’s Targa body style already exemplifies compromise. Its top effectively combines the characteristics of the rear-engine sports car’s 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 rigidity and lighter curb weight of the Carrera coupe, as well as a measure of the immersive open-air experience that the Carrera convertible’s folding top affords. On the upside, the Targa offers more wind-in-your-hair excitement than the coupe and superior closed-roof visibility to the convertible. The conjugated qualities of the 911 Targa may dissatisfy both the coupe and convertible orthodoxies but will appeal to many. In other words, the body style has the hallmarks of a good compromise.
The 911 Targa 4 GTS takes this notion even further. Whereas the Carrera GTS coupe and convertible have a 911 Turbo-derived suspension setup replete with rear helper 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 inch of ride height compared to the coupe and convertible, the Targa 4 GTS comes with more lenient adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars. The result is a GTS-badged 911 with a firm but forgiving ride, something we cannot say about the overly stiff Carrera GTS.
HIGHS: Pleasantly compliant ride, still insanely quick, as enjoyable to drive as it is to look at.
Predictably, the softer suspension of the Targa 4 GTS takes a toll on lateral dynamics, with the additional weight of the Targa’s power-folding roof panel and standard all-wheel-drive system exacerbating this. Body roll is ever so slightly more prevalent, and understeer rears its head just a wee bit earlier relative to the rear-drive Carrera GTS models we’ve tested. If the Carrera emphasizes the “S” in “GTS”, then the Targa plays up the “GT” side of the equation.
It’s a concession only the most hardcore drivers will bemoan. Because even with its mellower suspension tuning, the Targa 4 GTS handles with inordinate tenacity. Its staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires may have cried uncle 0.03 g before those on a 336-pound-lighter rear-drive Carrera GTS we tested in July, but the Targa’s 1.03 g of stick still makes the driver work exceptionally hard to surpass this car’s lateral limits on public roadways.
Michael Simari|Car and Driver
As expected of a 911, the Targa 4 GTS’s steering is as precise as a Zenith watch and as chatty as a startup company’s CEO pitching to Silicon Valley VCs. Our test car’s $2090 optional rear-axle steering system further compounded these traits by improving upon the already responsive disposition of the 911’s wheel.
Pin 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 bearing the S badge. Equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox 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 acceleration from 5 to 60 mph tells a fuller picture, though, as its 4.2-second run fell short of the lighter GTS coupe by 0.3 second. 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 exhaling the same guttural blats from its specially tuned exhaust system found on every 911 GTS variant.
A Choice of Transmissions
Although our Targa 4 GTS was equipped with the PDK automatic, a seven-speed manual is also available across the GTS line. This no-cost option likely would add a tenth or two to the mile-a-minute dash, but that’s still plenty quick and a small price to pay to enjoy the thrill of rowing your own gears. Yet there’s no shame in ditching the clutch pedal. Porsche’s automated gearbox possesses the polish and agility of an Oxford-educated professional gymnast, operating with refinement worthy of a luxury vehicle, yet able to swap cogs with a speed no human can match. Paddle shifters allow the driver to take control of gear changes, with the transmission responding near-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-sourced brakes bringing the 3737-pound Porsche to fade-free stops from 70 mph in 142 feet and hauling it down from 100 mph in 285 feet. Both figures beat those of the leaner 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 around half 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 that covers the seats and numerous interior pieces, GTS-specific exterior design cues, and the various aforementioned performance goodies.
Lows: Dearth of standard convenience features, options add up, GTS upcharge without all of the Carrera GTS performance bits.
Of course, optional extras will drive the total cost even higher. Our test car stickered for $173,520 and still lacked niceties such as power adjustments for the steering column and full power adjustment for the front seats. Unless money is no object (which, at this price point, may be the case), many Targa 4 GTS customers will have to make compromises and forgo some luxury and convenience items to keep this high-powered neo-convertible within their budget.
There’s that word again. Compromise. It’s the conceptual backbone of the Targa 4 GTS. By toeing the line between coupe and convertible and the Carrera GTS and Targa 4S, the more relaxed-riding Targa 4 GTS makes itself a jack of many trades as opposed to a master of one. It’s a compromise all but the most devoted track warriors and sun worshippers will find to be worth making.
2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS
Vehicle Type: rear-engine, all-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-view 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 color seat belts, $540
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve flat-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 182 in3, 2981 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-in vented, cross-drilled disc/15.0-in vented, cross-drilled disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4
F: 245/35ZR-20 (91Y) NA1
R: 305/30ZR-21 (100Y) NA1
Wheelbase: 96.5 in
Length: 178.4 in
Width: 72.9 in
Height: 51.2 in
Passenger Volume: 70 ft3
Cargo Volume: 5 ft3
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 omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling 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
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.03 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 19/17/22 mpg
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
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