On its introduction, the Targa name on the flank of a Porsche 911 was designed to reflect the Targa Florio, Sicily’s famous motor race.
That was in the 1960s, and we don’t know about you, but when we think of Targa today, the image that occurs to us is not one of a 911 spearing up a winding mountain pass in a motor race that was canned when it just became too dangerous.
Instead, we think of a classic 911 in a period colour – yellow, perhaps, or brown – cruising along a Californian boulevard near a sun-drenched beach.
Both are fairly romantic ideals, but the latter strikes us as more synonymous with the Targa because the original incarnation of it ended up being so popular in the US.
Not for nothing was it first revealed at a motor show in the United States – Detroit – where its shiny rollover hoop and roof mechanism revived the traditional Targa theme and replaced a sliding glass roof. That is not the only change, as the new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre engine that is now powering the Carrera and Carrera S 911's has now found its way into the Targa as well.