2014 Porsche 911 Targa review

7 reasons why the 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

By Shahzad Sheikh

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

We’ve reviewed a number of iterations of the 991 series Porsche 911 (scroll down to the bottom for links to the other reviews), but only now, over two and half years after I first drove it, have I finally found one that I liked so much I wanted to keep it.

And it’s chiefly because after a too-long two-decade absence, the Targa is back. And I mean the proper Targa, not the pretend ‘Targa’ badged 911s we’ve had over the last three generations; you know the ones that were actually just regular 911 models with big glass roofs.

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

The actual Targa was first introduced in 1967 as Porsche moved to pre-empt runaway safety legislation in the US that many thought would make roll-over hoops compulsory on convertibles. The look of the roll-over metal protection bar proved such a hit that on average 1 in 10 Porsche 911 buyers bought them. Throughout the 70s and 80s there wasn’t a cooler car than a Porker with Fuch wheels and a Targa top.

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

Not only is it back with a vengeance – instantly rendering glassy targas miserable mistakes – but it also claims its rightful spot as the most desirable Porsche of all. That’s right, forget all the 911s, in fact dismiss all the other Porsches, this is the only car from Stuttgart that you should buy. And here’s why:

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

1. Based on the Carrera 4 Cabriolet, it’s a rigid structure that only comes with four-wheel drive and hence the 22mm wider rear body. There’s a wrap-around double-glazed rear window giving excellent over-the-shoulder rear visibility. The chassis is specially tuned for the Targa and has rebound buffer springs on the front and rear suspensions for better handling. There’s not a rattle or squeak, and it feels solid, just as 911 Porsches should.

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

2. Available as Targa and Targa S.

  • Targa: 350bhp, 0-100kph in 5.0secs, 282kph, AED403,100 ($110k)
  • Targa S: 400bhp, 0-100kph in 4.6secs, 296kph, AED465,900 ($127k) – Targa S also comes with standard Porsche Torque Vectoring
  • Turbo, Turbo S, GTS, GT3 are all overkill when it comes to the venerable 911 in my opinion, and frankly 400bhp is all the power you should ever need, unless your Walter Röhrl, which you’re not.

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

3. Fantastically complex electric folding roof can be operated whilst engine is running, but car is stationary, via buttons on the centre console. You can also do it whilst the car is switched off via a button on the key fob. The rear glass canopy lifts off and rearwards by about a foot, two flaps open on the corners of the rollover bar, and the one-piece roof is lifted and laid back onto the rear deck. Despite the number of moving parts, only ONE motor does this job which is astonishing. It’s brilliantly impressive to show off the car’s party trick simply via the key-fob and it just never gets old!

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

4. Unlike the convertible, with this you get the best of both worlds: there’s a pretty solid tightly sealed roof panel giving full coupe-like motoring (but with better rear visibility) and then after a few seconds holding the roof-button, you have near open-top cruising, but without a cumbersome full-canvas to spoil the looks and the rear view when it’s up.

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

5. It looks utterly gorgeous!  There’s something about the way that brightwork bar breaks up the top-half of the car and makes the lower part even sleeker that makes the styling utterly compelling. And that’s without even factoring in the evocative pull of that uber-cool Targa style. You see it, and you just want one – and boy was it a head-turner on the road (even the Turbo S didn’t get as much attention!).

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

6. It’s really enjoyable to drive. Get the Targa S for the slight extra performance, but even that is not exactly pulverising, it’s more than quick enough though and builds gradually builds strong momentum, the PDK doing an excellent job on its own but proving more punchy, when used with the paddles on the ‘Turbo steering wheel’ installed on the test car. The optional PDCC tightened up the body a little, but wasn’t really needed, and I’d just stick with the standard 19-inch rims rather than the 20s which made the ride a little crashy around town, plus there’s plenty of grip available. I’d love to see Fuchs wheels offered with this though

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

7. It’s cool. Pure and simple.

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

Verdict

The feel-good factor is off the scale, and with the usual 911 attributes of being compact and versatile – it even has occasional plus-two rear seating, this is just about the best prestige sports car you can buy.

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

You don’t even need many options, I’d stick with the non-S car, but spec sports exhaust for a better sound, talking of which I’d also be tempted by the 15 grand’s worth (AED) of high Burmester audio as the standard stereo’s pretty average. I’d also stick with a manual box, if the local dealer would be willing to order you one, and if they made it in two-wheel drive, I’d go for that.

Get it. Get it now!

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

2014 Porsche 911 Targa review – The Specs

Prices: AED465,900 ($127k)
Engine: 3.8-litre flat-six cylinder, 400bhp @ 7400rpm, 325lb ft @ 5600rpm
Performance: 4.8secs 0-100kph for PDK (4.6 with Sport Plus), 296kph, 9L/100km
Transmission: seven-speed dual clutch, all-wheel drive
Weight: 1575kg

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

New Porsche 911 (991) review in two parts! 

Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet review 

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S review

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet review

All MME Porsche reviews

7 reasons why the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa is THE best current Porsche

Tell us what you think of the 2014 911 Targa below – is it the Porsche for you?

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