It may only be a different way to open the lid, but the roof of the Porsche 911 Targa attracted plenty of interest at the Detroit motor show.

Watching its rear end rise and cantilever to allow the central roof panel to fold away is compelling, especially as two sections of the signature brushed aluminium roll-over hoop have to temporarily rise like a pair of ears.

According to the Targa’s designer Grant Larson, it took several attempts to arrive at the ideal cut-lines for the metalwork surrounding the rear windscreen, while the need to share the forward section of the magnesium Targa roof frame with the same element of the Cabrio added to the challenge. 

And this isn’t the first time Larson has designed a modern 911 Targa in the idiom of the ‘60s original. It turns out that he and his colleagues developed a 997 Targa that never made production. But not much of the engineering work on this version could be carried over, it turns out, because the angle of the A-pillars on the 991 is different, and much of the structure aft of it differs too, effectively making this production version a clean-sheet design.