A heralded return to a 1960's icon? That’s what Porsche has drummed up with their all-new, seventh-generation 911 sportscar.
Calling it “the world premiere of a modern classic”, Porsche unveiled the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa with much fanfare at this year’s 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit back in January. The debut confirmed what many in the automotive world were anticipating for some time; a body style heavily structured after the original 1965 Targa car design, a car that came about not as a stab at making a new icon of style, but completely as a matter of perceived necessity.
In 1965, Porsche was fearful of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s view of convertibles, believing that the governing body saw such cars as dangerous to drivers and passengers due to their structure and ability to open up entirely. Porsche’s calculated response? Change the nature of the vehicle’s structure without compromising its versatility. Thus, the “half-open” design of the original 911 Targa was born, the progenitor of 2014’s brand-new 911 Targa.
In its press materials for the new 2014 911 Targa, Porsche quips that “Fashion is transient. Style is eternal”. Porsche is granted a significant amount of additional latitude in designing the new Targa over the old, if only because they don’t need to focus on coming up with a new body style to appease the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Instead, this time around the 911 Targa is all about style from the get-go, “necessity” be damned. Without the pressures of a governing body on their backs, Porsche has been freed to focus on making the Targa a pinnacle of modern design, and this is evident in the exterior sculpting of the new sportscar, which manages to be striking while still incorporating Porsche’s vintage design cues.
Porsche’s new grab at the retro market is a ride that actually features inspiration from a couple of in-house sources. From the window line down, the Targa matches the 911 Carrera 4 Cabrio. From the windows, up, however, it’s all vintage Targa, and like the original 1965 Targa, the seventh-generation iteration features a removable front roof section and wraparound rear window. It’s admittedly less a complete reimagining and more a resurrection, although Porsche hasn’t entirely rested on their laurels: There’s a crucial difference, a unique point of modernity amidst a sea of nostalgia. The roof.
The 2014 Targa bears a slick modern roof that, unlike its predecessor, features a fully automatic system that can be opened and closed in just 19 seconds (both ways) at the whim of the driver — a simple push of the button is all that’s required. The roof is comprised of a magnesium shell, lightweight rear glass, and a sound absorbent design. It’s a soft top, naturally, just as the original Targa was, but again, it’s that darn mechanized roof process that’s been so ballyhooed in the media. So, how does it work?
Targa drivers willing to let their hair down a little need only push a button and watch as the rear window opens and tilts back as the Targa’s flaps simultaneously yawn wide, releasing the speedster’s soft roof and allowing it to fold comfortably into and behind the rear seats. The flaps and rear window swiftly close back up in just eight seconds as if nothing at all has occurred. It’s elegant and dazzling while still managing to come across as understated, although it can’t be done while on the move due to the weight of the mechanism driving the roof’s mobile operation. If you’re looking to show off, you’re going to have to do it sitting still, but this is one of the only downsides of the 2014 Targa’s roof design, unless you’re in the market for a fully removable, true convertible roof.
Under the Hood
While fancy moving parts and giant sunroofs are all well and good, this is a Porsche. How will this re-imagined retro icon move you from place to place in all that luxurious style?
Ultimately, it depends on your preference. The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa can be yours in two trim levels: Targa 4 and Targa 4S, and no matter your trim selection you’ll still be the beneficiary of Porsche’s nifty new roof-retracting trick. While the focus of the automative world has been on the vehicle’s top — not to mention the focus of Porsche’s marketing team — these cars are all about speed and performance, mind you, and neither Targa variant disappoints.
The Targa 4 receives 350 horsepower from a horizontally-opposed 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine, and that’s good for a 175-mph top speed with the default seven-speed manual. Those willing to part with a few extra greenbacks and spring for the Targa 4S variant will instead receive a full 400 horses courtesy of a 3.8-liter six-cylinder engine, which packs enough punch to elevate the driving experience to a 183-mph top speed benchmark. Both trims also offer the option of the Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission and the Porsche Sport Chrono package, and this tweaks output a bit. The Targa 4 hits a 174-mph top speed when outfitted with the PDK transmission, and Porsche quotes 0 to 60-mph times at 4.6 seconds. The PDK equipped Targa 4S has a top track speed of 182-mph and a 0 to 60-mph time of just 4.2 seconds. As with the original 911 Targa, the new rendition is available solely in four-wheel-drive complete with Porsche’s proprietary Porsche Traction Management (PTM), lending a wider rear track and body to the vehicle.
Interior Design, Options and Price
While interior amenities usually come as more of an afterthought to Porsche owners, the 2014 Targa has a number of included options. All Targas boast a standard leather interior, sports seats, climate control, stability control, traction control, and a 7-inch color touchscreen. If you’re feeling fancy, the Targa 4S also sports Porsche Active Suspension Management, torque vectoring complete with limited slip differential, and 20-inch wheels. Porsche’s are a style icon, after all, so why not pay a little extra attention to your wheels?
Wondering just how much this sublime blend of modern and retro will set you back? The 2014 911 Targa 4 variant will start at $101,600, while the Targa 4S will set you back $116,200.
Now that you have the rundown, the only thing you need ask yourself is whether you can see yourself in a Targa. Porsche has plenty of other speedster options and all share a common design inspiration, but the Targa is perhaps the most reverential toward the past of all Porsche’s current models, and the half-open, crop-top design is a differentiator that may prove to sway a number of consumers looking to part ways with a chunk of cash. The crop-top is unique to the Targa line and can be a real head turner, even compared to Porsche’s other offerings. If nothing else, it serves as another beautiful entry into the sports car pantheon.
Click the Next button to view more photos of the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa!
4 Targa 911 Photo 1
Above shows how the retractable roof slides easily into the car for easy storage.
3 Targa 911 Photo 2
The 911 Targa not only comes in the color blue shown in the pictures above, but also in a variety of colors such as black, red, and silver among others.
2 Targa 911 Photo 3
The sleek interior is easy to slide into and allows you to get comfortable quick so you can hit the road in an instant.
1 Targa 911 Photo 4
The 2014 911 Targa is a must try car. With incredible speed and the exhilarating feeling of the wind once the top is down, you won't be able to say no to a beauty like this.