After spending the vast majority of 2013 in a state of heightened reverence as they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911, the luxurious German manufacturers are now ready to present the next evolution of their iconic flagship model.
At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 13, the all-new Porsche 911 Targa was presented to the world for the very first time.
Fans will notice various design cues from the classic late 1960s Targa concept, but this latest incarnation of the Porsche 911 blends state-of-the-art open roof technology with that distinctive coupe style like never before.
Hailing back to the original Porsche 911 Targa is the use of a wide bar in lieu of the B-pillars aft of the doors, a movable roof section above the driver and passenger and a wrap-around rear window with no C-pillar.
But whereas the original Porsche 911 Targa required a bit of manual labour to soak up the sun, it can all be done at the touch of a button on the 2014 model. The process by which the fully-automatic system tows the roof top behind the rear seats has been described as “a real spectacle”. We can't wait to see it in action.
Fitted as standard is a rear-biased Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive system, designed to offer optimum driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all weather conditions. Beyond that, in terms of body and technology, the new Porsche 911 Targa is almost identical to the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. We can therefore safely expect the best.
Words like “spectacular” are being bandied about in reference to the new Porsche 911 Targa's fully-automated roof. It's made up of two movable parts: a soft top and a glass rear window, which is attached to the convertible top compartment lid.
At the touch of a button, the rear window is opened and tilted, whilst two flaps open in the Targa bar to release the soft top's kinematics. The convertible top is released and folded into a Z-shape as the roof opens, before being stowed behind the rear seats. Running across the car behind the rear seats is a stowage area, which accommodates the convertible top. Once it's been stowed, the flaps in the bar close before the rear window moves back into position once again.
It's an extraordinarily complex sequence, but once again, it's all achieved automatically at the touch of a single button in around 19 seconds. It can only be operated when the vehicle's stationary, which is fair enough, really.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is available in two versions, both of which feature all-wheel drive and seven-speed manual transmission as standard. The 911 Targa 4 is fitted with a 3.4 litre 350hp flat-six engine, which has a top speed of 175mph and is able to achieve 0-62mph in just 4.8 seconds.
At the top of the range is the Porsche 911 Targa 4S, which produces 400hp from its 3.8 litre engine. It has a top speed of 184mph and can reach 0-62mph in an even more breathtaking 4.4 seconds.
Standard features and equipment across the range include a leather interior, sports seats, automatic climate control and the 7” colour touch-screen Porsche Communication Management System which incorporates sat-nav, a digital radio and a universal audio interface.
The first Porsche 911 Targa models are expected to reach UK showrooms by May 2014.