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Detroit show: Porsche swings back to the ‘60s

Top this: Porsche’s 911 Targa features a removeable panel over the front seats that stows at the push of a button.

The Targa top is back in fashion with Porsche’s latest 911 model

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Porsche logo14 Jan 2014

PORSCHE has travelled back in time to drag a 1960s icon – the Targa-topped 911 – back into the modern age.

The German brand overnight unveiled the partial drop-top version of the 911 featuring a removable roof panel that stows in behind the front seats.

The move – the first time in 20 years the wrap-around rear window has become a feature of the 911 – revives a 50-year-old freak of design introduced to the automotive world after car-makers feared the US government would ban convertibles after a spate of rollover deaths.

However, unlike previous versions of the Targa, instead of manually removing the roof panels above the front seats to stow them, the modern-day Porsche owner only needs to push a button.

According to Porsche, the 911 Targa features the characteristic wide bar in place of the B-pillars, and a wraparound rear window with no C-pillar.

“The rear-biased design of the PTM (Porsche Traction Management) all-wheel drive fitted as standard is a typical Porsche feature, and guarantees that this latest 911 model also offers optimum driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all weather conditions,” the car-maker said in a statement announcing the new model, unveiled overnight at the Detroit motor show.

According to Porsche, the Targa is very similar to the 911 Carrera 4 cabriolet models, featuring the same technology and bodywork up to the windscreen.

“The combination of the wide rear end that is typical of all-wheel drive models, the Targa bar and the dome-shaped rear window gives the latest 911 an extremely sporty appearance and a low-slung profile,” it said.

Engine choices are either a 257kW version of the 3.4-litre flat-six and wearing the “4” badge, giving a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.8secs, or the range-topping Targa “4S” featuring a 3.8-litre flat-six delivering a 4.4-second sprint to 100km/h.

Top speed for the base model is 282km/h, while the 4S version will stretch its legs to 296km/h.

Fuel use, meanwhile, is down to about 8.7L/100km for the entry-level Targa, making it more fuel-efficient than a Toyota Aurion large passenger sedan.

Both cars also come with the Sports Chrono package, which includes a lap-timer stopwatch mounted on the dashboard. Porsche Australia said the Targa 4 and Targa 4S will both land here mid-way through this year.

The entry-level model will be priced from $247,900 for the seven-speed manual version, with the 4S priced from $285,100 before on-road costs. A seven-speed dual-clutch Porsche Doppelkupplung – PDK for short – automatic transmission is a $5950 option for both models.

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Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.