Back in 1967, America threatened to ban vehicles with a fully convertible roof due to safety concerns. The revelation saw Porsche jump into action to find a way to offer a vehicle that was still convertible but was compliant with the potential new laws; the subsequent product of this design brief was the legendary Porsche 911 Targa – a 'half-open' Porsche.
It wasn't long before the Targa grew a cult following and regardless of the fact that America never passed new laws about convertible vehicles, Porsche continued to create the Targa. In 1996, the Targa was redesigned to resemble the at-the-time current 911 coupe; the traditional Targa shape was replaced a with large sliding glass roof which offered much the same intense roof off experience. Now, however, in 2014, Targa enthusiasts can rejoice as Porsche revives the much loved original Targa shape.
Combining the traditional shape of the Targa and the exterior aesthetics of the new 911 has resulted in a simply spectacular new lease of life for the illustrious Targa name. The all new Targa 4 and Targa 4S bring the 60's style icon into the next century, adopting not only contemporary styling but also a whole host of new technology.
The iconic Targa roof construction has been completely revolutionised and replaces the old manual roof system with a new 'fully automatic roof with innovative kinematics' which opens and closes in just 20 seconds. The roof material is pioneering in itself; two flat magnesium elements ensure that the fabric roof is always taut and the heated rear window is manufactured from weight-optimised laminated safety glass.
Powering the new Targa 4 is a 3.4-litre 6-cylinder boxer engine that produces 350bhp and takes the car from 0-60mph in just 5.2 seconds. This power plant has also been placed in the Targa 4S but produces 400bhp, allowing 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds if the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) is equipped.
Helping both models to achieve these impressive 0-60mph sprints is an all-wheel-drive system that benefits from an enhanced Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system. PTM directly and precisely regulates the amount of power that is fed to both the front and rear axles, allowing for stunning performance regardless of road surface or weather.
The interior of the car has been created to represent what Porsche call 'the very art of sports car design'; this means creating a cabin that is state-of-the-art and sporty yet undistracted and focused solely on the driving experience.
In order to achieve this Porsche have created a cabin with no unnecessary gadgets that is focused around the signature ascending centre console. Porsche designers have paid unwavering attention to the centre console to ensure that there is a clear logic in the position of every single element; elements such as the button to operate the roof or the individually adjustable two-zone air conditioning system.
Behind the beautifully crafted leather steering wheel the driver will find a timeless rev counter that takes pride of place in the centre of the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster includes five round instruments, one of which houses a high-resolution 4.6-inch colour screen that displays all information from the navigation system or all-wheel-drive system, to name but two.
The Targa 4 and Targa 4S mark a return to the sixties design that has not only revived an icon but also moves it into the next century in a holistic and perfect way. Through the Targa 4 and 4S, Porsche have allowed us to envision a hero through modern eyes - it's a return to an iconic design that purists adore and a new generation can idolise.