1995 Porsche 993 Carrera Targa

The 993 reinvigorated Porsche, but it also represented the end of an era.

  • Price new/now: £64,250 (1995)/£25,000
  • Engine/power: 3.6 flat-six/281bhp
  • 0-62/Top speed: 5.6-6.6 secs/168-172mph
  • Number produced: 4,583

The 993 reinvigorated Porsche, but it also represented the end of an era. When this third-generation 911 made its debut in 1995, it was the only car in Porsche’s line-up. However, it was a strong seller and helped secure the brand’s long-term future.

With wider and less rounded front wings, plus flatter headlamps, the 993 brought the biggest alteration in the 911’s shape since the original was introduced. The rear wings were broader and blended into the tail in a more direct line. This overhaul was so radical that Porsche claimed only 20 per cent of parts were carried over from the previous generation.

Handling was significantly improved, thanks to multi-link rear suspension, while cabin noise was reduced. As before, there was a choice of Targa, Coupé and Cabriolet versions, while Tiptronic and four-wheel drive were available.

However, in some ways it was the Targa that was the biggest departure. The traditional roll-bar was gone, and the car now had an electronically operated glass panel that slid backwards under the rear window. With the roof open, the standard wind deflector meant there was a lot less wind noise than in previous Targas; with it closed, the glass gave the cabin an airy feel.

Thermally insulated and UV-filtered to help keep the cabin warm in winter and cool in summer, the new Targa even had a roller blind that would glide across the glass at the touch of a button. It was an elegant piece of design, and this reinvention gave the Targa something different to the Cabriolet, helping to separate the two models.

Even better, the Targa was only 30kg heavier than the Coupé, so it drove very similarly. With an extra 22bhp over the 20kg-lighter 964 model, the 993 served up better all-round performance in spite of its extra weight. And inside, it featured new fabrics and colours, as well as revised door trims.

The well loved 1996 six-speed manual model in our pictures features the optional fixed rear spoiler, just above the engine cover, and the automatically rising rear wing. Some purists may have missed the original roll-bar concept, but overall the 993 breathed new life into the Targa.

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?
Petrol pump
News

E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions
1 Sep 2021
What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven
Skoda vRS range
Skoda

What is Skoda vRS? History and best cars driven

To mark 20 years of Skoda’s vRS badge, we rounded up some of the performance cars from the past two decades that have worn the subtle green badge
17 Sep 2021