Auto Show: 2014 Detroit Auto Show
2014 Porsche 911 Targa: Detroit Auto Show
What Is It?
The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is the latest variant of Porsche's iconic 911 sports car. While the 911 Targa has been offered with a removable roof panel since the 1960s, recent versions of the sports car have kept the roof rails in place. That's no longer true with the newest model, which now sports the same fully removable roof panel as popular 911 Targa models from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
But there's one major difference between the latest 911 Targa and the old models: You no longer have to remove the top by hand. Instead, push a button and the new 911 Targa's rear window tilts backwards, providing room for the fabric targa top to automatically fold up and stow behind the sports car's rear seats. The entire process takes less than 20 seconds.
The result is an experience that combines the open-air enjoyment of a convertible with the classic look of a coupe. The latest 911 Targa also boasts a wraparound rear window and a silver "hoop" behind the driver's seat, much like Porsche's well-known Targa models from years past.
Beyond the new roof, the 911 Targa shares most of its specs with Porsche's all-wheel-drive 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S models. The base-level Targa 4 will use a 350-horsepower 3.4-liter flat 6-cylinder that makes 287 lb-ft of torque, while the more powerful Targa 4S uses a 400-hp 3.8-liter flat 6-cylinder with 325 lb-ft. Just like in other 911 models, drivers can choose between a standard 7-speed manual and an optional 7-speed dual-clutch PDK automatic.
A base-level Targa 4 will start at $101,600 with shipping -- directly between a 911 Carrera 4 coupe and a drop-top 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. Step up to the Targa 4S and you'll find a $116,200 starting price, which stands between the 911 Carrera 4S coupe and the 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because...
After several years of fading into the background, the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa looks to make a splash in the 911's ever-growing lineup. If you can't decide between a 911 Carrera coupe and a soft-top Carrera Cabriolet, the Targa should certainly go on your shopping list. And even if you're certain about which 911 you want, the Targa is worth a look -- if only because of its trick roof and exciting retro styling cues.
Other Cars to Consider
BMW 6 Series -- BMW's full-size 6 Series convertible includes V8 power, luxury features and a power convertible top. But there's no targa roof, like the 911, and the 6 Series can't match the Porsche's razor-sharp handling.
Chevrolet Corvette -- The all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray is one of the few targa-topped vehicles available today. It offers more power than the 911 and starts around $50,000 -- some $30,000 below the 911's base price. But the 'Vette hardly boasts the 911's luxurious interior or its prestigious nameplate.
Mercedes SL-Class -- While the SL doesn't offer a targa top like the 911, it instead boasts a power-folding hardtop that reveals sunny skies in seconds. But the SL-Class can't match the 911 for driving dynamics.
Used Audi R8 -- Like other automakers, Audi doesn't offer a targa roof that mimics the one in the latest 911. But a pre-owned R8 costs about the same as a new 911 Targa, and it boasts similar look-at-me styling, if not a more enjoyable driving experience.