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Auto blogMon, 13 Jan 2014 08:44:00 EST
With the doors of Cobo Center opening for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show this morning, Porsche is set to reveal its new 911 Targa in a matter of hours. But before it gets the chance, the first batch of images have already leaked out, courtesy of Chinese car site autohome.com.cn.
As expected, the new Targa appears to ditch the complex sliding glass roof panels that adorned recent versions of the semi-convertible 911 in favor of a more back-to-basics approach. An entirely removable roof panel opens up the sky, backed by a metallic B-pillar hoop in front of a large curved-glass rear window.
We'll have to wait just a little longer for the full scope of images and all the official details, but we're expecting the new Targa to carry most of the same technical specifications as the 991 on which it's based. Watch this space for more.
When Nick Murray took delivery of his 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S in June 2013, he had saved for it for the past five years. He didn't just pluck a random 911 off a dealer lot. He specially ordered his car with thousands of dollars in extras tailored just to him, and he captured all of the options on his YouTube channel. The love affair didn't last long. Eventually the channel became a place for Nick to air his growing list of grievances about his deteriorating 911. Eventually, his mix of righteous indignation and sarcasm went viral.
By late December, he had already had four warranty repairs done on the car. Things got much worse in March. The computers began resetting whenever Nick drove over large bumps. There was also an acrid, electrical smell that occasionally permeated the cabin. Murray filed for Lemon Law protection. Porsche Cars North America contacted him for the first time to fix the problem, but it didn't help.
Things culminated in April when Murray put up a new video that showed more troubles. He began arbitration with Porsche and asked for either his full purchase price back or an exact replacement. The company countered with a portion of what the car was worth, based on its mileage. Murray refused and turned to his YouTube watchers for help. He asked them to spread the word, and the video went viral with over 800,000 views as of this writing. Supporters posted it multiple times on Porsche's Facebook and Twitter sites.
After over two years of construction and roughly 500 million euros ($684 million at current rates) invested, Porsche finally opened its Leipzig, Germany, factory expansion on February 11. The improvements to the plant are dedicated to building the Macan and include a new body shop, paint shop and assembly line that are advancing Porsche's goal to sell 50,000 Macan's per year. The company believes that the new model is going to push it to over 200,000 annual sales 3 years ahead of schedule, and the enlarged branch can support even more Macan production, if there is demand.
"We are totally convinced in the qualities of this location and that the Macan will be a marketing success," said Porsche Chairman Matthias Müller during the opening celebration. The company opened its Leipzig factory in 2002 to build the Cayenne and added Panamera production in 2009.
The Macan models are due to launch in the US this summer with prices starting at $49,900. Scroll down to learn all of the details about the Macan's Leipzig assembly plant.