Ultimate Porsche 911 Targa test

We drive the latest version of the Porsche 911 Targa alongside its legendary predecessors

Porsche has just introduced its seventh-generation 911 Targa, so what better way to celebrate this stylish, unique sports car than to bring together each version for an exclusive road test?

Launched in 1966, the original Targa met the obvious demand for an open-topped 911, and with its fixed roof bar it became the first production car to boast a roll-over hoop. This distinctive feature allowed for a removable roof panel and a zip-out plastic rear window.

The roof bar was a technical solution conceived by Porsche’s creative engineers to get round the problem of having no room for a folding roof above the rear-mounted engine, but it also helped maintain the 911’s stiffness and weight distribution. Plus, it saw off fears that US regulators would outlaw open roadsters and speedsters on safety grounds. 

By the eighties, once engineering and regulatory issues affecting convertibles had been overcome, Porsche launched the first of many pure cabriolet 911s. Yet enthusiast demand meant that the unique Targa lived on through every generation of 911. And now, with the super-stylish, seventh-generation car taking inspiration from the original, the Targa is back to its very best. 

Follow the links to see how nearly half a century of Targa models compare.

• 1966 Porsche 911 Targa• 1973 Porsche 911 Targa• 1989 Porsche 964 Carrera Targa• 1995 Porsche 993 Carrera Targa• 2002 Porsche 996 Carrera Targa• 2006 Porsche 997 Carrera 4S Targa• 2014 Porsche 991 Carrera 4 Targa

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