Porsche unveils 2015 911 TargaMon, 13 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Porsche has given its latest 911 Targa a heavy dose of retro appeal through the adoption of a series of classic styling cues that hark back to that of the original model launched in 1965.
Unveiled at the Detroit auto show, the new 911 Targa is based around the same aluminium bodyshell and four-wheel drive mechanical package as the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, alongside which it will be produced at Porsche's Zuffenhausen factory on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany.
Among the traditional styling elements Porsche's design boss Michael Mauer has chosen to resurrect on the new car is a fixed B-pillar hoop, or Targa bar as it has come to be known over the years. It extends over the middle of the cockpit, providing the new car with added structural integrity and roll over safety. As with the original, the new model's Targa bar sports a matte chrome finish to make the new car instantly distinguishable from other new 997 911 models.
A further throwback design feature includes a convex rear screen. The one-piece glass structure is permanently attached to the rear bodywork and mimics the dome shape of the rear end on the 911 Cabriolet's fabric roof.
While the original 911 Targa boasted a roof panel that could be removed and manually stowed in the front luggage compartment, the new model receives a fully automatic structure that operates at the press of a button.
In a process similar to that of the 911 Cabriolet, the rear end bodywork complete with the rear screen and engine lid moves rearwards, while the fabric-covered roof panel motors backwards before stowing behind the rear seats at the press of a button, preserving the two-plus-two seating layout and luggage capacity up front.
The new 911 Targa boasts the same wide track and widened rear bodywork as other four-wheel drive 911 models. At 60.2 inches and 61.4 inches, the front and rear tracks are a respective 0.4 inches and 1.8 inches wider than those of rear-wheel drive 911 models. More curvaceous rear fenders also see its width extend to 72.8 inches.
The new 911 Targa is planned to reach US showrooms in May with the same choice of naturally aspirated horizontally opposed six-cylinder direct injection gasoline engines as other regular 911 models.
Included is a 345bhp 3.4-litre engine in the 911 Targa 4 and more powerful 395bhp 3.8-litre unit in the 911 Targa 4S. They come mated to either a standard seven-speed manual or optional seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. A multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system features as standard across the range.
Official performance figures for manual gearbox equipped models are yet to be made official. However, Porsche claims the 911 Targa 4 boasts a 0-62mph time of 4.8sec and top speed of 175mph along with combined cycle fuel consumption of 27.0 mpg (US) on the European test cycle with the optional dual clutch gearbox and Sport Chrono Package – the latter of which brings a launch control function among other performance enhancing features.
The similarly specified 911 Targa 4S posts respective figures of 4.4sec, 184mph and 25.6mpg.
By Greg Kable