Targa versions of the previous two generations of the 911 – the 996 and 997 series – were criticised for their roof design, which abandoned the traditional rollover hoop and wraparound rear window for a more conventional coupe profile with what many described as little more than a removable sunroof.
But these spy shots confirm the signature Targa design will make a comeback when the new-generation variant launches, potentially as early as next year.
Despite Porsche’s best attempts to disguise the new Targa as a 911 Cabriolet with clever use of fake fabric roof lining, it’s easy to make out the prototype’s black central rollbar and uniquely shaped rear window.
The German manufacturer has also covered up the reflective red stripe between the tail-lights, which is a tell tale sign that the prototype pictured is an all-wheel-drive variant.
It is not clear at this stage if Porsche will offer rear-wheel-drive variants of the 991-based Targa or if it plans to retain a purely AWD line-up like the previous-generation 911 Targa.
The new 911 Targa will be powered by the Carrera’s 257kW/390Nm 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine while the new 911 Targa S will borrow the more powerful 294kW/440Nm 3.8-litre engine from the Carrera S.
The 997-series 911 Targa was priced between $263,000 for the manual 4 variant and $299,000 for the 4S with the dual-clutch PDK transmission.
Read CarAdvice's review of the Porsche 911.