The top seven open-top Porsche 911s of all time
The wind in your hair, the famous flat six roaring in the open air; there is nothing quite like an open-top Porsche 911. It’s an experience that activates all the senses in a way that the Coupe cannot quite achieve.
Yet, thanks to the fixed-head’s place at the top of the dynamic tree, the Porsche 911 Cabriolets, Targas and Speedsters that have graced Porsche Centres over the years can often be forgotten.
With summer on our doorstep though, there has never been a better time to delve into the world of the drop-top Porsche 911 with our countdown of the top seven open-top neunelfers of all time:
For the 993 generation of Porsche 911, the Targa concept got a major rethink. The classic roll hoop was removed and in came a sliding glass roof that gave panoramic views for those inside the cabin.
The design proved popular with owners (in part because the glass rear hatch could be opened, providing access to the rear shelf). Porsche saw the benefit of this glorified sunroof, keeping it for both the 996 and 997 generations.
As the latest iteration of the Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, it was expected that the 991 ‘Cab’ should be the best of its breed. That it is possibly the best 911 Carrera full stop is perhaps surprising.
With a new roof frame, the classic 911 silhouette is better represented however, it is with the roof down that the 991 excels with little wind noise and plenty of aural drama from the 9A1 flat six.
There are some people within the Porsche 911 community that don’t believe Porsche built a 930 Targa and, with only 193 rolling out of Zuffenhausen between 1987 and 1988 (and just 54 of those being right-hand drive).
The Porsche 930 Targa’s forced induction punch was accentuated with the top down, although it was still far from the best 911 ever made. Still, it is an intriguing oddity that you will seldom spot on the road.
Built as a run out model for the 997 generation, the Porsche 997 Speedster celebrated the end of an era in style. Only 356 were built (a reference to the original Speedster from the Fifties).
As well as the famous humped rear cover, the 997 Speedster got 19-inch Fuchs wheels, a shorter windscreen, wide body and Powerkit, the latter taking power to 408bhp.
Currently the fastest way to blow-dry your hair, the 991 Turbo and Turbo S Cabriolets blend the phenomenal speed of their Coupe brothers with the all-season practicality that 911 Cabriolets have become famous for.
The 991’s Cabriolet chassis loses little to the Coupe in terms of grip while the possibility of a 3.0-second 0-62mph sprint in the Turbo S version is a tempting proposition. The latter is also the most expensive new 911 currently on sale.
No list of open-top Porsche 911s would be complete with the original alfresco star: the 911 Targa. First offered for sale in 1967 in the 2.0-litre ‘911’ guise, the 911 Targa was a reaction to rumours that the US government was going to outlaw traditional convertibles.
As it was, the legislation was never passed but, with its polished aluminium roll hoop and (on the earliest versions) removable plastic rear window, the pre-impact bumper Targa became a style icon that sold well.
Among the plethora of Cabriolets and Targas it is easy to forget the Porsche 911 Speedster (especially as the concept was first seen on the 356). However, the 3.2 Carrera Speedster is simply unforgettable.
While the production version was not as extreme as some of the proposed designs, the first 911 Speedster is surely the best looking, shunning the bulky look seen on later versions. Narrow body versions are much rarer than their Turbo-look brethren.
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