Most people were happy to see the return of a proper Targa with Porsche’s 991 and the variant’s sales were surprisingly strong, with one in ten 911s bought in Britain being of Targa form during the 991’s era. It’s therefore no surprise to see a 992 out testing with the open-top headwear, which looks to feature the same extensive glass section at the back, headed by the same rollover bar and fabric lid as the 991. It suggests the 992 Targa will employ the same lift-and-tuck mechanism as its predecessor, to give an identical blend of open-air motoring, refinement and rollover safety that separates it from the full convertible.
The biggest difference between the old and upcoming models will, of course, be the new turbocharged engines in the back. The 992 Targa range looks set to follow the lead of the 991 and adopt the Carrera and Carrera S units, presently 3.0-litre turbo units with 385hp and 450hp respectively. A more performance-honed GTS is expected to join the ranks in the future producing something close to 480hp and we wouldn’t bet against something even more potent still beyond that, given the ongoing appetite for Porsche special edition variants. Some buyers might also turn to Litchfield’s 580hp upgrade….
Not that the Targa has ever been the most natural choice for an overtly sporting 911. Its inevitable weight gain (the 991 Targa weighed 110kg more than the coupe and 40kg more than the convertible) has made sure of that. So even though the 992 structure’s torsional rigidity is five per cent better than the 991.2’s, the upcoming Targa is almost certainly going 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.
Given the lack of covers on the spied 992 Targa, it looks like the model’s arrival is fast approaching. If we were to guess on a timeframe, we’d say a reveal in the early weeks of 2020 before a public debut at the Geneva motor show seems likely. That would at least leave enough time for buyers to place their orders for a late spring or early summer delivery. For those yearning for a higher-powered 992, the GTS can’t be far off and the following Turbo variants are also close by. Rumourville suggests the S version of the latter could have more than 650hp.