Porsche released their new 992 generation 911 Targa recently, with the same folding mechanism as the previous 991 generation but integrated into the new 992 styling.
The Porsche 911 Targa is a somewhat odd vehicle in Porsche’s 911 line up, yet it was there right at the very beginning of the 911 story. According to some sources, the Targa was designed and built in response to impending US regulations which appeared to outlaw convertible vehicles.
The biggest challenge for designers would have been to preserve that iconic roofline as much as possible, and would’ve been a monumental task back in the late 60’s. The first real attempt at ‘taking back’ that classic 911 roofline was in the 993 generation Targa, although this was at the expense of the now iconic Targa rollover bar. It was only in 2015 when Porsche unveiled the 991 generation Targa that the silver rollover bar and preserved roofline was achieved.
The original Targa
First offered as a fabric folding rear canopy with a glass window, the original looked more convertible than what we now recognise as a Targa.
Later Porsche introduced a fixed window version which defined the Targa moving forward.
G-series (Impact Bumper) 911 Targa
Given the amount of G-series impact bumper 911 Targa models for sale in second hand markets it’s fair to assume it was a relatively successful model spanning quite a number of years. Only the fixed glass canopy carried over.
The 930 Turbo Targa
Very few 930 Turbo Targa’s were produced making them a very rare car indeed.
You don’t see many 964 Targa’s around, perhaps owing to the fact they were produced in low numbers even compared to the cabriolet. The 964 was the last air-cooled 911 to wear the traditional Targa rollover bar.
The 993 Targa did away with the metal hoop and instead reinterpreted the design philosophy to create a glass house design by making the roof a glass sliding panel. It certainly tidied up the design of the car with the traditional 911 sloping roof line uninterrupted. Time has shown the roofs to be somewhat troublesome and expensive to fix so any would be owners need to factor regular maintenance and watch for any signs of leakages.
The 996 Targa carried over the glass roof idea giving a sleek look that worked well with the longer and lower 996 shape.
997.1 Targa and 997.2 Targa
The glass themed roof continued for the first generation 997, flooding light into the cabin. The updated 997.2 still carried the same roofline but met with the new taillight treatment.
991 Targa and 991.2 Targa
The 991 Targa heralded the return of the rollover bar mimicking the earlier incarnations and providing a more unique proposition when sat next to a convertible Carrera. This time the 911’s classic roofline was preserved thanks to a complex folding mechanism which cleverly tucked the roof into the rear and under the glass canopy.
The latest 911 Targa has utilised the same folding canopy and rollover bar as it’s older 991 brother, integrating into the new rear bumper and light design. A few more bumps and curves and a slightly higher hip line give it a different look. It looks like the Targa is here to stay for a while with the folding canopy. Can Porsche come up with a simplified version?