Porsche unveiled its new 911 Targa at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show this week, having already unveiled the more important Macan crossover SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
When it comes to design, there’s little new about the new Targa -- it’s a conscientious flashback to the original 911 released in 1967 with its B-pillar hoop.
Obviously the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker owned by Volkswagen AG (FRA:VOW) is hoping the retro look of the 911 will appeal to new buyers. But to achieve that appeal it had to have something new, so the company decided to add a button that causes the rear glass screen to lift and drop to the rear while a fabric roof lifts out of the rear and covers the seating area.
It’s a gimmick, to say the least, and, yes, there’s no hard top. But that didn’t stop the automotive press from swooning as it often does at such displays of odd automotive engineering feats. The Rube Goldberg-like contraption is bound to impress a small community of easily impressed gearheads willing to fork over $101,600 for a car with an eye-catching shtick.
It’s a car you can see the boy racer wastrel sons of the rich cruising around London’s tony Knightsbridge district repeatedly placing and removing the top at every stop light to impress the ladies.
For fans of the classic -- and authentically beautiful -- 60s-era 911, the newest Targa isn't an adequate replacement. On a more positive note: the Targa is loaded with the performance and power you would expect from Porsche, with two engine options: a 3.4 liter with 345 horsepower or a 3.8 liter with 395 hp. All-wheel drive is standard. It also comes in a speedier 4S version.
But is it worth it? Porsche is going great with its Panamera, and the Macan is being introduced as a smaller SUV to try and duplicate Cayenne’s success.