Porsche revives 911 Targa, launches new model in US
January 31, 2014 00:00 By The Nation
Porsche has brought back the 911 Targa, with a new model being launched at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month.
Just like the legendary 911 Targa model from the 1960s, the new model features a characteristic wide bar in place 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 unlike the classic models, the roof of the new Targa can be opened and closed at the push of a button. When the button is pressed, the fully automated system stows the roof top behind the rear seats.
The new model shares a great deal in common with the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. Up to the window line, the technology and body of the vehicles are virtually identical. The roof takes around 19 seconds to open or close, using the buttons on the centre console, and can be operated only while the vehicle is stationary. Porsche says a wind deflector integrated in the cowl panel frame can be erected manually when the top is down.
The rear window, which is made from extremely lightweight laminated safety glass, consists of two layers of thin, partially pre-tensioned glass separated by a film interlayer. The extremely fine heating elements on the heated rear window cover almost the entire surface of the glass, ensuring exceptional all-round visibility even in unfavourable weather conditions.
There are two engine choices, with a seven-speed manual transmission fitted as standard. The 911 Targa 4 is powered by a 3.4-litre, 350hp (257 kW) flat-six engine. Equipped with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch transmission and Sport Chrono Package, this model can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 4.8 seconds and zoom to a top speed of 280 kmph.
The top model is the 911 Targa 4S, which delivers 400hp (294 kW) from a displacement of 3.8 litres. This model reaches a top speed of 300 kmph and, with the PDK and Sport Chrono Package, is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in 4.4 seconds.
Porsche unveiled the 911 Targa, the world’s first ever “safety Cabriolet”, in September 1965 at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. With its fixed roll-over bar, removable folding roof and hinged rear window, this new variant was developed primarily in response to increased safety legislation in America.
The name “Targa” comes from the famous Targa Florio race, and since the mid-sixties has been synonymous with the open-driving concept, which was new at the time.
Production of the vehicle began towards the end of 1966, with the market launch of the 911 Targa taking place in 1967. The Targa cost more than the Coupé.
The roof concept was enhanced from one 911 generation to the next over a period of 27 years. During this time, this “semi-open” variant acquired the status of a stand-alone vehicle concept in the Porsche range, becoming the model of choice for one in ten 911 buyers.
For the 1996 model year, Porsche presented a fully revised version of the 911 Targa (Type 993). The entire roof was made of glass, with a sliding glass cover above the driver and front-seat passenger that could be lowered and retracted beneath the hinged rear glass window.
Precisely 20 years after the last 911 Targa with the classic roll-over bar style (based on the Type 964) was discontinued, the latest Type 991 generation of the 911 Targa will once again take this unique design concept into the future.