Not even Covid-19 can throw off the advance of a Porsche range expansion; in just the past couple of months a few have snuck behind the wheel of the new 911 Turbo S, the manual gearbox has been made available to order, and now we have this: the 911 Targa.
Well, almost. For now teased only in Porsche's digital magazine (and in cartoon form), the Targa will make its debut fully on Monday. From what we can see, the Targa looks... well, exactly how you might expect a Targa version of the 992 to look. With the 991 having successfully reintroduced a more traditional Targa top (and not just a big sunroof), it's been carried over here, with the silver B-pillar accents harking back to Targas of old and the roof mechanism nestled in behind. Anybody who enjoyed the look of the previous Targa - and it seemed there were plenty - will find much to like about this successor.
Expect the 992 Targa, as before, to mirror the rest of the current 911 range in terms of derivatives; there'll likely be rear- and four-wheel drive cars, Carrera and Carrera S, and potentially a manual, too. Though nobody needs reminding quite how niche an option that would be - of the 28 991 Targas currently for sale on PH, every single one is PDK.
As for the virtual reveal, Porsche is promising an "authentic, informative and surprising" unveil, the kind "only as you would expect from Porsche." Make of that what you will, and check back on Monday for a look at the Targa. Then by June it'll probably be on to the Carrera GTS...
ORIGINAL STORY, AS REPORTED 03/04/2020:
The 992 911 has been around for just over a year now (how time flies) but thanks to Porsche’s staggered launch schedule, it’s far from being a complete line-up yet. Before the maddest takes on the 992 from Porsche’s motorsport division are let loose, the core range must be filled – and next on the list after the recently revealed Turbo S is the Targa. A model which receives our attention today thanks to a fresh supply of footage from the Arctic Circle, where undisguised prototypes have been seen undergoing their final stages of testing.
It’s no surprise to see a continuation of the 991’s lift-and-tuck roof mechanism on the 992, bestowing the new car with the same blend of open-air motoring, refinement and safety that separates it from the fully-convertible 992 we’ve already met. On a model expected to remain a popular seller in the range – one in ten 991 sales in Britain were Targas – it’s clearly been a case of continuing what was good before into the very latest 911 platform, with a near identical rear glass section sitting above the 992’s slatted tailgate and light bar.
The main technical difference between the old and upcoming models will, of course, be the new turbocharged engines in the back. The 992 Targa is likely to follow the lead of the 991 and adopt the Carrera and Carrera S units, 3.0-litre turbos with 385hp and 450hp respectively. A more performance-honed GTS is due with around 480hp, so we’d also expect the Targa to inherit that specification like it did in the 991. We wouldn’t bet against something even more potent still beyond that, given the ongoing appetite for Porsche special edition variants. There’s presumably nothing stopping someone from having Litchfield’s 580hp upgrade applied to a Targa, for example.
The Targa has never been the most natural choice for an overtly sporting 911, though. Its inevitable weight gain (the 991 Targa weighed 110kg more than the coupe and 40kg more than the convertible) has always made sure of that. The 992 structure’s torsional rigidity is five per cent better than the 991.2’s, so the upcoming Targa is likely to receive slightly softened spring rates to keep that weight in check and give the model a more relaxed demeanour in light of the Targa lifestyle. That was certainly a winning formula for the 991 model.
As for when the Targa is due, earlier estimates for a spring launch have been somewhat dampened by current events. Porsche is no stranger to revealing cars online, though – it launched the Turbo S this way due to the cancelled Geneva show – so it may still only be a matter of weeks away. Whether orders, production and deliveries can swiftly follow is dependent on how things pan out in Europe, but as soon as it’s here, we can at least start getting excited for the GT-badged 992 models that will follow in the months to come.