The Best of the Best 2003: Sports Cars - Porsche 911 Targa

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I have long argued that the Porsche 911 is the most sensible sports car on the planet. Just when it seems the Carrera has evolved to user-friendly perfection, Zuffenhausen refines the design even further. Aesthetically and structurally, the coupe has always been the true Porschephile’s favorite. Of course, topless aficionados argue that the Cabriolet offers unequaled sunshine fun, but some of us cannot abide such overexposure. The all-new Porsche 911 Targa, a variation on Porsche’s original hoop-roof theme, may just make everyone happy.

An ingenious glass-panel roof spans the width of the car and slides back to disappear beneath the rear window, opening the entire passenger compartment to the elements. The rear-window assembly is also a hatchback that offers the entire rear deck for storage.

Comfortable, wind-free, and comparatively quiet, the $76,000 Targa will change the mind of anyone who thinks that a convertible is the only way to enjoy open motoring. About the only thing missing from the Targa is the extra horsepower of its big brother, the Turbo. But the Targa is the rarest of the 911 lineup, and that, combined with its flexible open- top attributes, may make it the most sensible Porsche ever.

Porsche, www.porsche.com

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