Expanding the lineup by bringing back a classic model designation, the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa made its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show in both Targa 4 and Targa 4S guise. While retaining the basic design concept of having a removable top panel, this latest iteration puts a new high-tech, fully-automated spin on the formula.
Based on the current 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S, the new Targa 4 and more powerful Targa 4S share the same basic platform mechanicals, powertrains and Porsche Traction Management all-wheel-drive systems as their also-wide-body 911 Coupe/Cabriolet counterparts. Motivation for the 911 Targa 4 is provided by a 350-horsepower/3.4-liter flat-6, while the Targa 4S gets its kicks from a 400-horse/3.8-liter alternative. Either can be backed by a standard 7-speed manual transmission or available 7-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. Porsche says the Targa 4 with the PDK and optional Sport Chrono Package can streak to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and reach a speed of 174 mph, while a similarly outfitted Targa 4S can hit that benchmark acceleration number in 4.2 ticks and top out at 183 mph - or 184 with the manual shifter.
Like other 911 Carrera 4 models, the new Targa 4 has a conventional suspension and like other 4S variants, the Targa 4S comes standard with the driver-adjustable Porsche Active Suspension Management setup as well as Porsche Torque Vectoring -- both of which are Targa 4 options. However, each has been specifically tuned for duty in the new Targa. While both variants get performance-contouring "Sport" buttons and offer Porsche's Sport Chrono package that features an even more aggressive "Sport Plus" mode, only the Targa 4S can be upfitted with the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control system.
Although the key elements that define the specific Targa nature of this new Porsche entry remain identical to those found on the original introduced in 1965 - a fixed "Targa" roll bar, wraparound back glass and a removable top element - the latest execution shares nothing with the previous manual pop-and-stow articulation procedure. This time around, all that's required to make the transition in either direction is the touch of a button.
The new Targa's roof consists of a fully-lined soft top element on a supportive magnesium frame - the same basic design used on the 911 Cabriolet -- and an attached rear glass window. When the al fresco process commences, the glass and decklid cover automatically open and tilts rearward while a pair of flaps on the Targa bar deploy to release the top and allow it to fold into a "Z" shape and tuck neatly behind the rear seats before returning to their original position in a process that takes about 19 seconds. The new 911 Targa duo also features a manually-erectable air blocker on the windshield frame. One thing that hasn't changed is the unique sense of style the brushed aluminum Targa bar adds to the 911's presence whether the top is up or stowed.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S will go on sale this summer. Pricing for the Targa 4 is set to start at $102,595 and the Targa 4S is slated to open at $117,196.
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