Porsche is very good at coming up with new permutations of its classic 911, but at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, it revived one of the classics.
The Porsche 911 Targa debuted in 1965 as an attempt to combine the open-topped fun of a convertible with the practicality of a coupe. Its removable roof panel, roll bar, and fixed rear window became an icon for Porschephiles.
Recent Targa models traded the removable roof section for stationary glass, but the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S kick it old-school. Based on the current 991 chassis, they nonetheless look like something straight out of the ’60s.
Drivers in 2014 aren’t too keen on having to stop and manually open a car’s roof, though. So Porsche fitted the new Targa with an automatic folding system that stows the roof section behind the rear seats. No manual labor required.
Other than the trick roof, the 2014 Targa 4 and 4S are identical to the hardtop 911 Carrera 4 and 4S, featuring the same widened bodywork and enhanced mechanicals.
The Targa 4 is equipped with a 3.4-liter flat-six that produces 350 horsepower, while the 4S gets a 3.8-liter flat-six with 400 hp. Both models will be offered with either a seven-speed manual transmission or the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automated manual. Porsche will launch both Targa models exclusively with all-wheel drive.
Equipped with the PDK and optional Sport Chrono package, Porsche says the Targa 4 will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 174 mph (175 mph with the manual). Similarly equipped, the 4S will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 182 mph (183 mph with the manual).
The Targa 4 will carry a base price of $101,600, while the 4S will start at $116,200. That puts these semi-convertibles between the hardtop Carrera 4 and 4s ($91,030 and $105,630, respectively) and Carrera 4 and 4S Cabriolets ($102,930;$117,530) in Porsche’s lineup.
Deliveries begin this summer, which sounds like perfect timing.