Seriously? Already? How?
A new generation of Porsche is always a cause for celebration. And while some of the brand’s fans may see the slow proliferation of the 992’s hallmark features to the rest of the 911 lineup as delayed gratification, we think it’s a way of prolonging the party. Coming to aid of that is yet another round of photos of an uncamouflaged 992-generation 911. This time, it’s the 911 Targa making laps around the Nurburgring as it prepares for its likely debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show this September.
The Targa has always been a unique 911 because it’s more of an emotional purchase than a logical one. There’s nothing really practical about it since it weighs more than a 911 Cabriolet (which is already heavier than the 911 Coupe), costs exactly the same as the Cabriolet, and features a smaller roof opening than the convertible model.
Despite its shortfalls, the Targa certainly has a place in the 911 lineup. It’s the most retro-looking 911 on the market and is considered by Porsche’s design chief Michael Mauer to be "the most iconic of all 911s.” It’s likely part of the reason why Porsche left the 991 911 Targa’s top alone when it moved it to the 992 generation car.
While we see all of the 992’s changes - the new headlights and daytime running lights, revised air intakes, a reshaped hood, wider fenders, a full-length rear light bar, and the wider active rear wing integrated into the body - the Targa top remains pretty much exactly the same as it did before. Only the rear deck of the 992 911 is changed, losing a C-pillar and gaining the opening that will allow the rear glass portion to come off so the top can be stowed.
Porsche may have preserved the 991 Targa’s roof to save on the cost of a redesign, but it means the 992 911 Targa will likely have to also deal with the top’s extra weight. One way Porsche could cut down on weight is to eschew the Targa’s standard all-wheel drive setup and allow it to go rear-wheel drive, just like the 911 Cabriolet.
If Porsche carries over the existing 991 Targa lineup to the 992 Porsche, expect all cars to come with all-wheel-drive "4” drivetrains. In this scenario, the Targa 4, which shares an engine with the yet-to-be-unveiled base 992 Carrera, would make it to market along with the Targa 4S, which would share the 992 Carrera S’ 443 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo flat-six. A Targa 4 GTS would eventually hit the market as well, but we'll have to see what Porsche’s plans for the Targa are to see whether this scenario plays out.