Cool new Porsche 911 Targa revealed in Detroit

Powered roof adds a modern twist to classic design. New Porsche 911 Targa launched at Detroit and on sale now

The new Porsche 911 Targa has been officially unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show and has also gone on sale with prices starting £86,281 for the 911 Targa 4 and £96,316 for the Targa 4S. Orders are being taken now with first UK deliveries due in May.

Porsche 911 review

All Targas are based on the wider all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4 bodyshell and, like the Carrera 4, have a choice of engines: a 345bhp 3.4-litre flat-six and a 395bhp 3.8-litre. Sprint times from 0-62mph are 4.8 and 4.4 seconds respectively.

Unlike recent 911 Targas where a glass roof has slid back behind the rear screen, this 991 model Targa harks back to the 1965 original with a solid, removable cloth panel that hides away in the boot. The big difference is that it’s removed as part of a theatrical movement that sees the rear screen lift up and out of the way as the panel – identical to the central part of a 911 Cabrio’s – is automatically stowed in the boot.

• Porsche 911 convertible review

According to Grant Larson, head of special projects for Porsche Style, a manual roof was considered, but “People who buy these cars expect electric operation, so manual operation was out of the question.”

The retro-style roof, with its beautifully curved, clear rear screen, was first considered for the facelift of the previous generation 997 model 911. “Back in 2005, work hadn’t even started on the new 991 and the idea of a classic Targa came up,” said Larson. “We thought it was working really well, but timing wasn’t right to make it work for the 997 facelift, so we left it for the 991.”

American Larson, who’s worked for Porsche for nearly 25 years and designed the original Boxster and Carrera GT describes this new Targa as one of his greatest achievements, due to the design and engineering complexities with the roof arrangement. “It’s a real USP of the car, but it because a real engineering and design challenge,” he said.

Much of the mechanism for the roof is made of lightweight magnesium and is hidden behind cleverly concealed flaps in the wrap-around Targa bar. This silver plastic covered section sits behind the doors and forms the B-pillar, featuring the Targa badge and fake three fake air outlets that are for design purposes only.

The windscreen, doors and side windows are all identical to the Cabrio, but the complex rear glass has four different types for different markets and also with the option of a rear wiper. However, the folding of the roof cannot be carried out when the car is moving, unlike in the Cabrio.

Standard equipment mirrors that of the 911 Carrera 4 models, with the addition of the powered roof. First deliveries of the new Targa will be in April in the UK.

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