Despite Porsche having claimed the name, targa tops are nothing new. In addition to the semi-roofless version of the 911, plenty of cars in the past have used removable roof panels – the new Corvette Stingray has one (as have prior generations), and this type of open-air experience has been available on past vehicles like the Pontiac Solstice Coupe and Honda Civic del Sol.

But when Porsche took the top off its brand new 911 Targa here at the Detroit Auto Show, it was indeed cause for pause. Simply put, this is one of the most complicated and intricate electronic roof panel removal techniques we've ever seen, save perhaps, for the setup found on the Japanese-market Civic del Sol from the 1990s.

We won't spoil the video for you, but basically, rather than just the roof panel coming off, the entire rear glass area lifts away the body in order for the small section over the passenger compartment to slide back. This has to be incredibly expensive to repair once it inevitably breaks. And we highly doubt you'll be able to operate this mechanism at any speed.

Rather than a play-by-play explanation, we invite you to scroll down to watch the Targa's roof in action. And let us know what you think of Porsche's new setup in Comments.

Autoblog Shortcuts: 2014 Porsche 911 Targa Roof Operation


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  • 84 Comments
      ihatedavebushell
      • 11 Months Ago
      Typical Germans - over automate to the point of ridiculous for basically no reason. It is a targa - the whole point is you pop off the little roof section and throw it in the trunk - simple easy and gives you some of the convertible feel without the loss of rigidity and complications of a full convertible. Porsche has added all the complication of a convertible and then some without all the benefit - why would anyone buy this over a cabriolet???????
        Lachmund
        • 11 Months Ago
        @ihatedavebushell
        looks better. probably more rigidity. more safety and in contrast to the oldschool solution there is still room in the trunk.
      Number23
      • 11 Months Ago
      Is it that hard to lift the roof of and stick it in the trunk? I had an 1985 Corvette 4+3 and I found the roof easy to deal with.
        TopGun
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Number23
        Oh, absolutely it's very difficult - some people actually even shift for themselves too. Ain't nobody got time for 'dat!
        Lachmund
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Number23
        considering the target demographics for this car are kinda different to the ones of a 1985 corvette, I assume it is.
        funguy6713
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Number23
        Don't laugh but most of the people I see driving not only very expensive luxury cars, but very expensive sports cars are older (50+) and many of them I see have handicap stickers on them...as a demographic, only the retiring Baby Boomers have enough disposable income to afford such cars these days...
      svntsvn
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'd hate to see this car 20-30yrs from now as a collector car with problems. Neat process, but potentially a nightmare for a Porsche owner.
      Patrick
      • 11 Months Ago
      I would expect Porsche to do nothing less than this with a targa top.
      MistyGreen
      • 11 Months Ago
      Certainly no more complicated than the C70's roof. I don't get what the big deal is here. On another note, couldn't they put a little more time into engineering it so that the roof can be coming down as the back is lifting up? I don't understand why each piece has to wait until the other is done. It's not like they share motors.
        Julio B
        • 11 Months Ago
        @MistyGreen
        Are you kidding! The C70 is a full convetible, this 911 just hides a targa top made of FABRIC! Yes Fabric... Compare it to the Corvette Targa's simplicity and it is obvious how Porsche is trying to be overly complicated just for the sake of complication. Also Porsche dealers charge about $900 for an oil change, imagine how much this will cost when it breaks...
          Jeff Sager
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Julio B

          Actually, it is fabric over a titanium panel.  And an oil change is under $300 at the dealer, although that is still way over priced when the oil and filter cost under $70. However, drive the Corvette and then drive the Porsche - there is a huge difference in the quality of the vehicles.  Both will get you from point A to point B, but one is hamburger compared to filet mignon.

      Jeremy Conley
      • 11 Months Ago
      You will be able to make the aluminum the same color..... ,,,in the options list. Options: Aluminum same color as car - $2956
      carguy1701
      • 11 Months Ago
      wow so complicate such intricacy very expensive
      in2dwww
      • 11 Months Ago
      It's not even a full roof yet it feels like it takes longer to stow than the Mercedes SL. I wish the power top was an option, because I could do without it.
      thumerzs
      • 11 Months Ago
      I posted over on the Kia GT4 concept article that I wished for an inexpensive car offering a targa roof rather than a convertible. This aint it. The 911 looks like a great car, but I doubt I could even afford the cost of that Rube Goldburg contraption let alone the repair bills. Gimme something simple with a couple latches and a panel that will actually fit in the trunk in a car under $25K and I'll be happy.
        waetherman
        • 11 Months Ago
        @thumerzs
        I pretty sure you're not the target market. Go find yourself a nice 914.
          Cayman
          • 11 Months Ago
          @waetherman
          They are getting hard to find. I sold mine about a decade ago, I'm still regretting that move.
      Anonymous
      • 11 Months Ago
      What a lot of electronics/hydraulics and weight and complication for what should be a simple process. Id be happy with a hand removed targa and a weight and cost savings.
      Doctor Device
      • 11 Months Ago
      there is an awful lot of mechanical complexity here to perform an otherwise simple action. they couldn't design it such that the back of the car didn't have to lift up and back a foot and a half? (also, why is the preview image in feedly a Honda Del Sol? I thought you were making a joke about the "complicated operation" until I watched the video)
      Sixdeuces
      • 11 Months Ago
      "It's not just a spaceship... it's a Transformer!"
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