Porsche 991 Targa first drive in Total 911 issue 113
So here we are, back where blue-skies 911 motoring all began. This is the Targa reborn, Porsche very evidently stung by criticism of the 993-997 era models bearing the Florio road race-inspired nameplate, which at face value were little more than Carreras with sliding panoramic sunroofs.
For the 991 iteration, Zuffenhausen has taken inspiration from the very car that initiated the Targa family line, and the new model is all the better for it.
As a Total 911 reader, you may know why the Targa was created: due to the fear of a potential ban on fully open convertibles in the US, the development of the car’s distinctive rollover hoop came first, and the wraparound rear screen later to sidestep such draconian laws, with the ill-fated American legislation never materialising despite the Targa fan base demanding that the car carry on regardless.
The ‘proper’ 911 Cabriolet didn’t actually appear until 1982, but even that didn’t sound the death knell for the Targa, as it soldiered on into its subsequent 964 guise before evolving into the unpopular glass-roofed version in the 993 era.
You may be wondering why Porsche is bothering to offer two discrete convertible models in the current era, as well as why neither of them features a metal roof – a proven choice among many other manufacturers.
But here’s the thing: heritage is a big thing for us 911 fans, and it would seem that it means a lot to Porsche, too. When pressed on the matter, a senior Porsche official said there were two primary reasons to revive the classic Targa shape.
One, the company has finally resolved the issues with the complex folding roof mechanism; and two, the Coupe 911s now have the option of large sunroofs for the first time, rendering the 993-997 Targa formula redundant.
The roof, of course, is a real show-stopper. No longer do you have to manually fiddle about folding up bits of canvas like on older versions; now, you just press one button, and 19 seconds later you have open-top motoring.
To read the rest of our definitive review on the Porsche 991 Targa, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 113 in store or online now. Get your copy delivered via the Imagine Shop, or download it to you digital device via Great Digital Mags.