Back in January when the new Porsche 911 Targa was first introduced, the motoring world was stunned by the operation of the fully automatic Targa top. Quite a few people we heard from were amazed at its operation, but were concerned that it was overly complicated and could present maintenance problems in the future. What most didn't know at the time is that even though the system looks complex, it's actually based on the current 911 cabriolet models. In fact, more than 90% of the system is an exact duplicate of the same components that Porsche has been using for more than a decade with little to no problems.
The 911 Targa Top Shares A Great Deal In Common With The 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet
Unfortunately, to the casual observer, the video above does little to reassure anyone that the top's function is actually quite simple. However, if you watch closely, you'll note that up to the window line, the technology and body of the vehicle is more or less the same. It's the rear glass window and the flaps on the Targa bar that set it apart and make it seem more complicated than it actually is. Made from extremely lightweight laminated safety glass, the window consists of two layers of thin, partially pre-tensioned glass separated by a film interlayer. The flaps are cast aluminum covering a steel roll bar.
As you watch the video above, note how the rear window is attached to the the convertible top compartment lid. As this is opened and tilted up, two flaps open in the Targa bar, releasing the soft top. The convertible top is then folded into a Z-shape as the roof opens and stows away behind the rear seats. Once the top has been stowed, the flaps in the bar and the rear window close . All of this happens in just about 19 seconds and does so with fewer moving parts than you would expect (study the top cutaway video carefully and you'll see what I mean).
The Frame Itself Is Made Of Steel Aluminum and Magnesium
The fabric hood stretches taut over a magnesium roof shell and panel bow. An additional sound absorber beneath the convertible-top covering has a thermal-insulating effect and reduces road noise when the roof is closed. The rear edge of the soft top connects up to the fixed Targa bar, which features steel roll-over protection on the inside and painted cast aluminum elements on the outside. The three gills and "targa" lettering on the sides of the bar are a nod to the original Targa model from 1965.
The only down side to the Targa top that we can see is the fact that, unlike the cabriolet, the Targa must be stationary to operate the top. I'm pretty sure I can live with this tiny limitation.
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