From left back: The 1967 911 Targa, 1989 911 Targa & The 1980 911 3.0 SC Targa
It seems inappropriate that a design as elegant and iconic as the 911 Targa’s was born out of something as mundane as safety regulations. First unveiled at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show, the model’s distinctive fixed silver “Targa” roll bar was Porsche’s response to fears in the US that convertibles might be outlawed for being too dangerous.
While the ban never came in, the design stuck and 50 years on, that quirky open-top-cum-semi-convertible-cum-massive sunroof design has lost none of its charm. Now, this version has gone back to the model’s roots, bringing the fixed chrome bar with three gills and Targa badges on each side as a nod to the original. A more powerful GTS model (430bhp; 188mph top speed) is also hitting the roads.
Whereas owners of previous models needed to manually remove the roof, it’s now fully automated, transforming itself in a convoluted but captivating 19-second process that folds the soft top underneath the rear window panel. Under the bonnet, the car is almost identical to the current 911 Cabriolet.
So why not just buy one of those?
Simply because the Targa’s borderline-eccentric design still offers something genuinely different. In fact, even within the Porsche portfolio this car is niche, representing only 10 per cent of all 911 sales, despite being the best-looking of the current crop. Character, originality and looks in one package. Not bad for a 50-year-old.
- Price: £96,316
- Engine: 3.8-litre flat-six-cylinder
- Power: 396bhp
- Transmission: Seven-speed PDK, four-wheel drive
- 0-62mph: 4.4secs
- Top speed: 182mph
- On sale: Now