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
2014 Porsche 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.