Ultimate Porsche 911 Targa test
We drive the latest version of the Porsche 911 Targa alongside its legendary predecessors
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
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingWe drive the latest version of the Porsche 911 Targa alongside its legendary predecessors
- 21966 Porsche 911 Targa
- 31973 Porsche 911 TargaFrom 1974 onwards, changes to US federal regulations resulted in a host of updates to the 911.
- 41989 Porsche 964 Carrera TargaThe 964 generation of 911 was a landmark car.
- 51995 Porsche 993 Carrera TargaThe 993 reinvigorated Porsche, but it also represented the end of an era.
- 62002 Porsche 996 Carrera TargaThe launch of the 996 generation in 1999 marked one of the most significant changes in 911 history, with the introduction of a water-cooled flat-six engine.
- 72006 Porsche 997 Carrera 4S TargaFor the next-generation 997 Targa, Porsche stuck to the formula it created for the 993 and went on to refine for the 996
- 82014 Porsche 991 Carrera 4 Targa