Porsche Targa gets back to its roots
Monday, February 03, 2014
At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, one of the big debuts was the new Porsche 911 Targa. The rear-engined sports car is a throwback to the early days of the Targa, but with a modern twist.
The Targa was originally introduced in 1967 and allowed open-air driving thanks to a removable hard top panel. The design allowed for a roll bar that made it safer in the event of a rollover and more rigid than a standard convertible.
Over the years, the Targa kept the same basic design, until it was changed in 1996. The new design had the roof become one with a large glass panel that could be opened at the push of a button. This design resembled a large glass sunroof.
With the 991 variant of the Targa, Porsche has returned to the original style, but now the top opens at the push of a button, unlike in '67. The metallic roll bar returns, which gives the car a vintage look.
How the roof operates is quite amazing. When the urge to drive with the wind in your hair comes, you simply push a button and the rear glass moves back, then the middle section of the roll bar raises. After this, the top moves down behind the seats and the rear glass and middle section of the bar go back to their original positions.
But there is more to the car than just an advanced roof. After all, in a Porsche it's what is under the skin that really counts.
The new 911 Targa is available as a Targa 4 or a Targa 4S. As with other 911 models, the "4" stands for all-wheel drive. This means that when the weather gets bad and the road gets slick, you will still have plenty of traction.
At the heart of the 911 Targa 4 is a 350-horsepower, 3.4-liter flat-six engine that when mated with the PDK dual clutch transmission and Sport Chrono package can launch you from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The Targa 4's top speed is 174 mph when the PDK is equipped, and that goes up to 175 mph if you get the seven-speed manual transmission.
Performance gets even better with the Targa 4S. It manages 400 horsepower from its 3.8-liter flat six engine. This equates to a 0 to 60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds when equipped with the optional PDK transmission and the Sport Chrono package. The top speed of the 4S is 182 mph with PDK, and with the seven-speed manual you get that up to 183 mph.
The Porsche Targa 4S manages 400 horsepower from its 3.8-liter flat six engine.
How much will all this performance and the incredible push button Targa top cost you? The 4 starts at $101,600 and the 4S brings it up to $116,200. There is also a $995 destination fee that is added to those prices.
While the Targa isn't cheap, when you see the roof in action and think about the performance you get along with the well-engineered chassis, it is worth every penny. You can get a car like a Corvette for much less money, but the 911 is a much more composed car. And in the Targa you get the all-wheel-drive system as well as the jaw-dropping roof.
To really appreciate how incredible it is, you have to see it in action, so watch the above video to see how it works.
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