Why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa Matters:
You might be asking yourself, if Porsche builds a 911 Coupe, and Porsche builds a 911 Convertible, why does Porsche need a new 911 Targa model in the lineup? It’s a good question, the answer to which lies in the fact that every 2014 Porsche 911 Targa will be equipped with the automaker’s all-wheel-drive system and the Porsche Traction Management technology that is included with it. You see, people who live where it frequently rains and snows occasionally enjoy gorgeous, sunny days, and on those days, they want a convertible instead of a closed coupe. The new Porsche 911 Targa delivers.
True, the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Corvette Z06 models offer a similar type of top, but it doesn’t come with all-wheel drive. A Jeep Wrangler hardtop has removable roof panels over the front seats, too, combined with 4-wheel drive, but it’s not in the same automotive universe as the Porsche. So there you go. If you want foul weather protection and traction combined with stunning sports car performance, this new 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is the only game in town.
What’s New for the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa:
- Targa-style roof panel over front seats
- Metallic Targa roof bar with retro “targa” script
- Wrap-around rear window glass
- Automated roof panel storage system
- Targa 4 and extra-strength Targa 4S models
New 2014 Porsche 911 Targa: Styling and Design
Scroll through photos of the new 911 Targa and compare the car to a standard 911, and it’s clear that the handful of changes made to the roof design make an impact on the overall look. In Los Angeles, home base for Autobytel, 911 Carreras are as plentiful on the roads as Toyota FJ Cruisers are in Denver. You see ‘em everywhere. Therefore, the new 911 Targa gives sports car drivers in high-income areas something different from what everyone else is driving.
Yeah, tough problems, right?
Personally, I like the new 911 Targa’s look, and especially its classic “targa” script on the targa bar. Equipped with a wider rear track and swollen bodywork, the 911 Targa looks more powerful and sensual than a standard 911 Carrera. The interior is standard-issue 911, and as is true of other 911 models, the Targa can be tailored to specific aesthetic preferences through a long list of optional equipment upgrades.
New 2014 Porsche 911 Targa: What’s Under the Hood
The 911 Targa 4 is equipped with a 350-horsepower, 3.4-liter 6-cylinder engine and a 7-speed manual transmission. An automated manual gearbox (PDK) is available, and when it is paired with the optional Sport Chrono Package, the 911 Targa 4 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The 911 Targa 4 model’s top speed of 175 mph is achieved with the standard manual transmission.
Upgrade to the 911 Targa 4S, and a 400-horsepower, 3.8-liter 6-cylinder engine revs from behind the cabin. With the optional PDK transmission and Sport Chrono Package, this model delivers 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Stick with the manual gearbox, and the 911 Targa S achieves a top speed of 183 mph. The extra power costs a cool $14,600. You could get a whole Nissan Versa for that. Just sayin’.
Both cars come standard with Porsche’s active Porsche Traction Management all-wheel-drive system.
New 2014 Porsche 911 Targa: Features and Technology
As is true of any Porsche, you can go completely insane with this car’s options list. From paint and wheels to interior trim and details, the price rises fast, and that’s before adding comfort, convenience, performance, infotainment, and safety upgrades. I just used the car configurator on Porsche’s website and built myself a 911 Targa 4S with a sticker price of $194,920, including the $995 destination charge.
Wait a second. Destination is $995? Isn’t this car coming from Germany? How does Dodge justify $995 for an entry-level Dart made in Illinois?
The main feature differentiating this car from other 911 models is its fully-automated targa roof panel. When weather permits, the driver can power the roof panel into a storage location behind the front seats. Like other cars with power retractable hardtops, the 911 Targa's rear window and deck raise and tilt back to allow the panel to slip safely into its storage well, and then everything locks securely back into place for fun al fresco motoring.
New 2014 Porsche 911 Targa: What Autobytel Thinks
With the debut of the new 911 Targa models, there are 16 different versions of the 911 from which to choose. These are worthy additions to the lineup, especially for buyers who have precious few top-down driving days each year.
Photos by Megan Green