19 November 2004

These exclusive spy shots show that Porsche’s 911 Targa is alive and well, despite persistent rumours that it could soon be phased out. It’s been suggested that the current 996-series version of the car will not be replaced when the new 997-series came fully on stream at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen factory. But the pictures show that there will indeed be a 997 Targa and that it is only a matter of months away from arriving in the showroom.

Despite attempts at disguising the car’s distinctive side elevation, the flash of chrome along the top of the doors shows the side window to be different shape to the coupé’s. Another giveaway is the rear wiper: on the Targa the arm is much straighter and the pivot sits in a different position.

One intriguing theory doing the rounds explaining why the 997 uses the same roof as the previous 911 (right) is that it allowed the company to carry over the old sunroof, targa and cabrio roof unchanged. This saves a lot of money, as these mechanisms are particularly complex and difficult to engineer.

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