As air-cooled Porsche prices spike, MotorWeek shows the joy of owning one by remembering the 1996 911 Targa.
Porsche 911 Targa
The Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS is doffing its intricate top at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Benefiting from both all-wheel drive and some extra power from the German brand, the latest take on this venerable sports coupe is aimed at buyers looking for something very specific. It also wears a tweaked front bumper, 911 Turbo S wheels and inside the company's Sport Plus seats to keep a hold on drivers.
I've watched the electro-hydraulic roof panel open and close about 73 times in the past hour, but its fascinatingly complicated operation still has me mesmerized. I've concluded that only a German automaker – Porsche, to be more specific – would go through the trouble of engineering a roof system that essentially lifts the entire greenhouse off a vehicle, rearranges its components like a sliding-tile puzzle, and then reassembles all of them seamlessly (sans roof panel) to accurately
Porsche has proven adept at making sure there is a version of its venerable 911 for practically any wealthy driver's desires. If you just want a great all-rounder then buy a standard 911; open-air driving, then the Cabriolet is for you, and if you need a compromise between them, there is even the new 911 Targa.
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.
Back in 1965, Porsche invented the 911 Targa as a matter necessity. Believing that a finicky National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was prepared to outlaw convertibles, the innovative automaker created the half-open car as a way to keep wind rushing through owners' hair. Though far removed from those formative days, it seems as though the 2015 Porsche 911 Targa has come to the Detroit Auto Show with a new-school version of some old-school tech.
With the doors of Cobo Center opening for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show this morning, Porsche is set to reveal its new 911 Targa in a matter of hours. But before it gets the chance, the first batch of images have already leaked out, courtesy of Chinese car site autohome.com.cn.
The 991-type Porsche 911 was introduced in 2012, but it's just now hitting its stride in terms of the numerous variations for which the 911 is known. Following closely on the heels of the 911 Turbo Cabriolet models revealed at the LA Auto Show, Porsche looks to be readying the return of the 911 Targa.
The folks over at Jalopnik have published some rather interesting images from what looks to be a presentation held inside Porsche's North American headquarters in Atlanta, GA. What these leaked photos reveal is pretty significant – details about several of the brand's upcoming launches, including GTS versions of the Boxster and Cayman, a new 911 Targa, and information about the Macan crossover that will debut at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. Of course, none of this information has bee