Want the open-top Porsche 911 experience with the old-school looks and superior refinement of a removable hard top? Step forward the Porsche 911 Targa that’s seen here, barely disguised, testing ahead of an expected debut in early 2014.
Porsche 911 Targa: the need-to-know
Ignore the 911 Cabriolet-aping canvas roof disguise on these test mules and you’ll spot the outline for a classic Targa ‘hoop’, and a wraparound glass rear window not seen on a 911 since the 964 Targa was killed off in 1994.
How will the 991 Targa’s roof be stowed?
The fully removable roof panel means its goodbye to the ‘greenhouse’ Targa style of the 993, 996 and 997-generation cars, which retracted their glass roof sections inside the cabin ceiling. The new car could opt for a manually removable solid roof panel, but patent sketches leaked online appear to show designs for an electrically retractable roof that can be automatically stowed under the wraparound rear glass.
Porsche 991 Targa: the model range
Like the outgoing 997 Targa, the new 991 Targa will be available exclusively with all-wheel drive – spot the giveaway rear strip connecting the rear light clusters, and the inflated rear wheelarches, which stretch 200mm wider than a rear-drive Carrera’s bodyshell.
Quad exhaust pipes on the cars pictured mean that we’re looking at the Targa 4 S model, which packs the same 395bhp 3.8-litre flat-six as the coupe. An entry-level Targa 4 with two tailpipes (and a 345bhp 3.4-litre six) will also be available. Insiders claims Porsche may offer a Targa Turbo for the first time in the 911’s history, complete with a twin-turbocharged 513bhp engine, rear-wheel steering, and the twin-clutch PDK transmission as standard.
>> Click here for CAR’s scoop of the most expensive Porsche 991 yet: the 911 Turbo Cabriolet
Expect a premium of around £6000 for a 991 Targa versus a hard top 991 Carrera 4: the range should kick off at less than £80,000 for a basic car. Add PDK, smarter alloys and the yellow-calipered ceramic brakes of the more powerful Targa 4S in our gallery and you’ll be looking at a six-figure bill.
>> Want more 911? Check out CAR magazine’s 50 Years of 911 special issue here