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  • Porsche’s retro-themed 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition combines a ’50s and ’60s look with the latest in technology.
  • Its color and trim selection benefits from an extensive study of Porsche model history.
  • The new model is priced at $181,950—more than $45,400 above the regular Targa 4S’s price—and will go on sale late this summer.

    Everyone knows the guy that shows up at a classic-car meet wearing a tweed jacket with sleeve guards and a tartan cap. Now there’s an equally nostalgic, brand-new car for this person: Meet the Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition. The cumbersome name encompasses what this car is about: a limited-edition derivative of the new 911 Targa 4S with design that is informed by the brand’s heritage. In this case, it’s the 1950s and early 1960s.

    Porsche’s design department clearly had fun with this model, reaching deep into the brand’s endless reservoir of badges and colors, frills and furbelows. It’s painted in Cherry Red Metallic (it’s also available in Black, Guards Red, or GT Silver Metallic), with white design elements like the “spears” extending from the headlights to the A-pillars. The Porsche stripes on the doors and large circles with individually selected start numbers stick out at first glance, as does the silver Targa roll bar that is shared with other Targa models.

    Closer inspection reveals a plethora of further details, including the “historical Porsche crest of 1963” fitted to the front trunk lid and the wheel-hub covers. Porsche has fitted wheels influenced by the the classic Fuchs design in the factory 20-inch front and 21-inch rear sizes. Lettering on the Targa bar and the rear is executed in gold. What’s more, there is a “heritage” badge that recalls the 100,000-kilometer badge that Porsche 356 owners received back in the day upon passing that significant mark.

    Having thus sufficiently differentiated the exterior from other 911s, the designers proceeded to work on the interior. Here, the 1963 crest makes further appearances on the headrests, steering wheel, the key pouch, and the very key itself. The interior is clad in bicolor leather, beige combined with either red or black. Corduroy fabric appears on seats and door trim, and the instruments are illuminated in green, 356 style. And never has the Sport Chrono dial looked more appropriate than in this retro-themed 911; there’s also a limited-edition chronograph for your wrist that’s available only to Heritage Design Edition buyers.

    We appreciate the perforated Alcantara headliner, and we applaud Porsche for fitting a metal badge with the actual, individual limited-edition number. That’s so much better than a hypothetical “1 of 992” badge, such as the ones AMG or Audi Sport apply.

    The number 992, of course, refers to the number of cars produced; the Heritage Edition comes only as a Targa with all-wheel drive, and can be specified with both a seven-speed manual or a less retro-themed eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Priced at $181,950 and set for launch in late summer, it eclipses the regular Targa 4S by a cool $45,400 but comes with a lot of handmade trim, and its rarity will likely render it a very good investment.

    For latecomers who can’t coax their dealer into securing one of these limited-edition cars, we hear there will be a Heritage Design Line down the road, available on more 911 models and likely unlimited in number. It will include some of the details first shown on the Heritage Design Edition.

    And if the Jackie Stewart look isn’t quite your style, you may be interested to know that Porsche will offer three more Heritage Design Edition models; they will explore further design themes from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Just in case you prefer to be that person with the glam rock, disco, or aerobics style.

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