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Porsche, Plein Air!

A classic is reborn as Porsche’s 2014 911 Targa 4S hits the road just in time for summer.

Is it a coupe or is it a convertible? The 2014 911 Targa 4S is actually a bit of both, giving drivers the top-down freedom of a convertible with the stylish lines and performance of a hardtop coupe. The latest addition to the 911 lineup exhibits many of the same design themes that made the original Targa, unveiled in 1965, a legend in its day, as well as a sought-after collector’s item in later years.

The $116,200 2014 Targa brings back the allure of the 1965 model with distinct styling cues, including a massive wraparound rear window, an integrated silver rollover loop and chiseled side fins located just above the Targa nameplate. The heart of the car, however, is its innovative fabric roof, which can be automatically stowed away and out of sight at the push of a button. A complex sequence of robotic movements lasting just 20 seconds is all it takes for the Targa to transform into a thrilling open-top machine. But that doesn’t mean drivers can’t multitask: When the top is down, a built-in wind deflector prevents buffeting and significantly reduces wind noise, allowing for phone calls through a hands-free Bluetooth system, even while cruising down the highway at 70 mph.

Thanks to its standard all-wheel drive system, the Targa sports a wide, aggressively styled rear. All-wheel drive affords it improved traction in general, helping to ensure a smoother and safer ride all year long. And control is essential in this Autobahn-born beauty: With 400 horsepower underfoot, the Targa, when equipped with the $1,850 Sport Chrono Package and $4,080 PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission options, rockets from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, making it a true sports coupe.

While the Targa, which is scheduled to arrive in American showrooms by mid-June, shares exterior styling cues with the original model, inside it’s a different story. This version flaunts luxurious leather and aluminum finishes, sophisticated electronics systems, and world-class levels of comfort, making the Targa easy to enjoy driving on a daily basis. Its interior design, in fact, draws most heavily on the Panamera sedan, particularly the Panamera’s high-rising center console and advanced 7-inch touchscreen navigation system.

Other sophisticated touches abound, including a leather-trimmed dashboard, heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, an optional Burmester surround-sound system, adaptive cruise control and soft LED ambient lighting. So chalk a victory up for modernity: No matter how revered the original Targa is, these are features of which its owners could only dream.

2014 Porsche 911 Targa 4S

Base Price: $116,200
Engine: 3.4-liter 6-cylinder
Transmission: 7-speed manual
Horsepower: 400 hp @ 7,400 rpm
Torque: 325 lb.-ft. @ 5,600 rpm
Cargo Capacity: 4.4 cu. ft.
City Fuel Economy: 18 mpg
Highway Fuel Economy: 26 mpg
Fuel Tank: 17.9 gal.
Weight: 3,428 lbs.
0 to 60 mph: 4.2 seconds*
Top Speed: 183 mph
*When equipped with the Sports Chrono Package and PDK double-clutch automatic transmission

Full wraparound rear glass
Silver rollover loop
Automated convertible option