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2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4 Review: Guaranteed Fun... at a Price

Auto123 reviews the 2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4.

57 years. That's how long the most famous of all Porsches, the 911, has been around. These three world-famous numbers evoke power and sportiness for some, luxury and social status for others. We had the opportunity to drive one for a week; better yet, we got the Targa version with a roof that folds away to hide in the rear deck. The cherry on the Sunday for this week of test driving is that the weather was sunny and warm all the way through! Sunglasses and sunscreen mandatory.

The Targa
But before going back on our sun-drenched week at the wheel of this Porsche, let's situate it in the 911 Carrera family. There are three types of 911s: coupe, cabriolet and Targa. The coupe and cabriolet are available in the so-called basic version, in which case they operate with rear-wheel drive, and then in 4 version (for 4-wheel drive), in S version, or in 4S version. The Targa is only available in 4 and 4S. That's it. Simple as that.

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2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, front
Photo: Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, front

As for the engine, 911s are fitted with a powertrain well-known to Porsche afficionados, a twin-turbocharged 3.0L flat-six coupled to Porsche's superb 8-speed dual-clutch automatic PDK transmission. The rear-wheel-drive and 4WD 911 Carrera make 379 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. The 4S increases the power output to 443 hp and 390 lb-ft.

We're not talking crazy power here, but what makes it special is that power is distributed in a very balanced way. The 911 is also a car that can easily be used year-round. The hardtop version or the convertible version allows you to use this car differently. If you’re not sure how exactly you’re going to use it, the Targa is a wise pick.

This car has a unique style, but can be used equally well in totally closed or totally open configuration. The silver bar in the middle of the car and the huge rounded rear window are the differentiating elements of this variant.

2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, profile
Photo: Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, profile

The appearance
Our 911 Targa in Gentian Blue Metallic with RS Spyder Design wheels and a black soft top did not go unnoticed. Whether you have the soft top open or closed, the curves of the 911 are preserved. Even the opening and closing of the roof aroused interest and curiosity, every time. (The operation takes only 19 seconds, by the way). Once the roof panel is open, the opening is very large and it looks like you’re driving a convertible. Once closed, space on board, especially overhead, is such that you enjoy decent clearance, close to what you get with the coupe version.

The ride
On the road, soundproofing is overall impressive, even if we were surprised to note a few creaks coming from the panel. When the hatch was open, apart from the sound of the wind entering the cabin (to the point where a discussion on the highway was almost inaudible), there was no suspicious crackling or noise to distract us from the delightful sound coming from the exhaust pipes.

I know, you're probably thinking, you've just tried a “basic” 4 model, it's not a Turbo S with more than 600 hp either. Well fine, but we can confirm that even with the “little” 4 and its mere 379 hp, we had a ton of good times! With only 1,505 kg on the scale, it goes from 0-100 km/h in only 4.0 seconds if it has, like our test model did, the optional Sport Package (otherwise it takes all of 4.2 seconds).

In addition to the engine's performance, also worth of note – and praise – is the PDK gearbox. One of the best transmissions on the market. Whether you're driving at low speed or in Sport+ mode, it’s able to adapt to your driving style and bring out all the rage of the 911 Targa 4's engine.

2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, interior
Photo: Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, interior

The interior
There are no major changes since the last redesign. The latest 992 911 has a simplified interior design but with modern and very well integrated technology. The driving position is, as expected, perfect and once you’re installed aboard all the controls fall perfectly under the hand. The integrated central screen is a good size at 10.9 inches. Android Auto connects using a cable while with Apple CarPlay, it’s all wireless. Unfortunately, wireless charging was absent, probably because storage space is scarce in the 911.

In the middle of the console, the small PDK gearbox lever is proudly displayed. It looks insignificant sitting in the middle of the console, but it contributes greatly to the driving pleasure of this car.

The Targa 4's main feature is its unique sunroof panel that allows you to enjoy this Porsche almost all year round. The rear seats - yes there are some - are a formality, present so Porsche can say you can fit four people in the car. We managed to fit a young adult of moderate height back there but it was difficult; we had to move the front passenger seat forward considerably for it to happen. In addition to being installed directly under the glass bubble, anyone sitting back there should beware of heat stroke in the summer - headroom is that limited.

2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, rear
Photo: Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, rear

Price and competition
As with all Porsches, you can customize every detail of the interior, as long as you have deep pockets. Our tester started at $136,000, but had options worth $29,380 for a grand total of $165,380... and not all options were selected.

No matter what price you pay or what options you put on it, we guarantee that the driving pleasure will start at the $136,000 you'll have to pay to get behind the wheel of this car in its base form. And it will set you apart from the mass of coupes and convertibles you'll come across. The price to get it is outsized, but then so is the pleasure.

2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, rear section
Photo: Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, rear section

We like

Successful styling
Incredible engine
PDK transmission
Overall driving and comfort

We like less

Onboard storage space
Limited front trunk space
Expensive options

The competition

Aston Martin Vantage
Audi R8
BMW 8 Series Convertible
Chevrolet Corvette
Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible
Mercedes-AMG GT

2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, headlights, front grille
Photo: Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, headlights, front grille
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, badging
Photo: Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4, badging
Photos:Auto123
2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4 pictures