By on January 13, 2014

The 1965 Porsche 911 Targa has always been a bit unloved by the Porsche purist. The higher roofline of the Targa compromised the slick silhouette of the 911 that made it so iconic. It was something of a knee-jerk reaction to impending safety regulations by the NHTSA. Porsche thought that convertibles were soon to be made illegal, so the Targa offered a steel roll bar and removable roof section to fill the gap.

Fortunately, that fearful day for Porsche never came, and the targa departed the lineup in 1989, having been vastly supplanted in popularity by the full-droptop 911. This doesn’t stop Porsche from occasionally playing with its history.

The new Targa closely resembles the aesthetics of the old, but with finer attention paid to retaining the overall shape of the 911. No longer a necessity, Porsche finally had a chance to make the Targa concept fit the car’s profile.


As a supporter of the original Targa, at heart, I really enjoy the look and attention to detail here. Unlike the half-hearted Targa remakes (which can be best described as an oversized sunroof), this one retains the steel roll bar look (with surface details, like the vertical “slots”) and wrap around rear windshield — something that’s so rarely pulled off now days. I can imagine the visibility out of the back of this 911 is pretty fantastic. In typical German fashion, it is overly complex. Where as the Corvette has used a manual targa roof for ages, Porsche  has the mind to motorize it:
The rear hatch and glass lift up, and the roof tucks into the rear. It is neat, and given most of the buyers of this particular variant probably won’t be track-junkies, but I would like to see a less top-heavy solution to this.

Otherwise, this is standard 991 Porsche 911. There’s two motors available: the standard 3.4L 350 hp flat-six engine which will hit sixty in 4.8 seconds, and the Targa 4S grabs the 3.8L flat six engine which makes 400 hp and sprints to sixty in 4.4 seconds. Sadly, only Porsche’s PDK transmission is available.

Pricing starts at $101,600 while the 911 Targa 4S model will sell for $116,200 (not including $995 destination). Deliveries of the 911 Targa in the U.S. are scheduled to begin this summer.

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21 Comments on “NAIAS 2014: Porsche 911 Targa...”

  • avatar

    Beautiful car. I wonder if it is as top-heavy as the 996 and 997 variants. The problem with those was the glass “targa” roof. The 991 targa roof looks to be fabric-covered plastic. The rear glass looks heavier than a coupe, but overall, the difference may not be too great.

    But it uses water to cool its engine and comes from a manufacturer that also makes big and small CUV’s, so it will not find much love here. I’m sure Porsche will sell every one they make – at full list price.

    • 0 avatar

      Damn that looks even better than the earlier shots I saw.

      Personally I’d prefer a lighter and $impler storage mechanism ( a la Chevy) but its certainly much better looking than the ass-heavy cabrio design.

      Hope it sells tons of them so the used market is stocked in a few years.

  • avatar

    I love it. I can’t put my finger on it, but I love the look. The way the whole back glass pops up to fold back the little fabric top is ridiculous… but charming.

  • avatar

    Great looking car. Sign me up. I believe the previous generation targas were simply convertibles with the top section added in (glass and all).

    The glass looks very, very much like a Corvette from the side.

    Still, I’m going to keep looking for a 1987-1988 Targa…..

  • avatar

    It is ugly. The targa top is just ugly, stupid and pointless in my opinion. Just get a proper convertible, or you know, leave a sports car the way it should be, with a solid hard top.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    Easily the best looking 911 I’ve seen in a long time.

  • avatar
    the duke

    As a supporter of the original Targa myself, I feel I should point out that they were made through 1994; the 964 was the last generation offered as an original targa.

    I’ve been lukewarm on the regular 991, but I’m really liking this.

  • avatar
    jonny b

    It’s gorgeous. Time to re-shuffle my “What new car do I buy if I win the lottery” list.

  • avatar

    You know what? I’m 911ed up to here. 20 versions of the same cheese sandwich, a few open-faced, some grilled, a few stuck in the panini press for mmmm, 10 seconds too long, the rest normal. Most require a good dill pickle, optional for $27K extra.

    All, however, suitable for poseurs and young business folk on the way up.

    • 0 avatar

      In what universe is a $100,000 car suitable for poseurs and young business folks? Man, what’s the address of your yacht club? I’m definitely going to beg for spare change over there.

      • 0 avatar

        Right? I always thought that was used RS4s, M3s and used up Boxters, especially for the poseurs. $100k is a bit much for their group. These are traditionally bought by middle-aged, occasionally in their mid-life crises, and looking for something sporty, yet a bit more comfortable for their aging skeletons, men and women.

        There’s a woman here in Salt Lake with a previous gen targa, in copper (I don’t speak Porsche, so this is as close as it gets with me haha). If my perception is right, and it usually is, she isn’t a poseur or a “young business folk”. Just a rather wealthy, middle aged woman who likes a 911, but doesn’t want a full on convertible. The idea of the targa is actually lovely. My aunt has a Honda Del Sol, which is also a targa style car, and it’s actually quite enjoyable with the roof in the trunk. Who knew wanting a convertible, but with less wind noise, made you a poseur.

  • avatar

    I’m waiting for the Panamera Targa.

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