Dear Porsche: The Corvette Has Had a Targa for Years
I hate to keep harping on this, but I am not a fan of the new Porsche 911 Targa. Sure, it looks stunning, and any connection to Porsche’s history pulls at my heartstrings, but the folks in Stuttgart have made the Targa insanely complicated, and that violates everything that the Targa is about. The 0riginal Targa top was a simple answer to a complex problem– how do we deliver open-top driving while also providing the safety of a roll-bar. But that is not the case with the new Targa, which is more complicated than the convertible top, and with less open-air. PHOTOS: See More of the 2014 Porsche 911 Targa
First, the rear glass raises, which has long-term wear written all over it. Then, the iconic silver band comes apart, so that the soft top raises and moves rearward.
The top stows in the trunk, eliminating any advantage of storage space that the glass roof might have provided behind the driver.
The glass window returns, and now you have the most circuitous route so a simple answer that Porsche would never adopt. (The smirk says, "Yes, we'd be happy to take your $100,000")
Wikipedia defines a targa top as: "Targa top, targa for short, is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. The term was first used on the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa, and it remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG. The rear window is normally fixed, but on some targa models, it is removable or foldable, making it a convertible-type vehicle."
But wait, there's more: "Any piece of metal or trim which rises up from the side of a car and continues in an uninterrupted line over the roof and down the other side is sometimes called a targa band, targa bar or a wrapover band." So since the metal pieces in the roll bar fold in, Porsche violates its own, copyrighted definition.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Meanwhile, over at Chevrolet, the Corvette has had a targa-style top for years, and makes no big deal about it. Here is how you open up the cabin of the 2014 Corvette Stingray to the heavens:
Chevrolet has proven that it can depart from the common trend of automakers to overcomplicate simple solutions. Just look at the side steps built into the bumpers of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2015 GMC Canyon
And now look at what Ford thinks is an acceptable means to enter the tailgate.
We’re usually not Chevrolet apologists here, but it was time someone said what no one is willing to– that the Corvette has more in common with the original 911 Targa than this modern open-top Porsche ever will.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2002 Chevrolet Corvette
The unfortunate truth is that Porsche probably wanted to do that originally, but the Porsche buyer, with his soft hands, finds it offensive to have to remove the roof himself. Sure, they made that manual-top Boxster Spyder, but that was for a select few. They could have offered the Targa with a manually removable top for the same price range as the standard 911, but that just wouldn’t be the Porsche way. Instead, they will probably sell more by offering an expensive, complicated version that is an affront to Porsche’s history.
And if that blows your mind, then welcome to the car market in 2014.
PHOTOS: See More of the 1970 Porsche 911 Targa