2012 Porsche 911 might bring back the fixed Targa roof option

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 22, 2011

There’s no doubt in our minds that the 2012 Porsche 911, which will be unveiled this September in Frankfurt, will be astounding even as it won’t carry any shocking or groundbreaking features. Porsche is expected to ensure that the car’s elements are pure and clean and that it won’t be fitted with KERS to weigh it down with fuel-saving features.

According to Teamspeed, Porsche engineers took inspiration from the past to create the technologically advanced 911.

Reports from Germany indicate that the 2012 model will drop the retractable glass roof and it will instead feature a more conventional removable roof for the Targa model. Furthermore, the Targa model will receive a prominent rear pillar and new glass at its rear.

There’s another report that states that Porsche is bringing back a true Targa that entails some manual labor so it’s possible that there could be a limited-edition coming.

In 1966, the Targa roof was presented on the 911. There had been previous similar configurations but Porsche had come up with the new name. In 1996, Porsche replaced the lift-off roof panel with a sliding glass, a design that had remained until today. However, true enthusiasts don’t think that this is a true successor.

The legendary Porsche 911 Carrera sports car has been reborn after a huge development step in its long production history. Its redevelopment and redesign encompass roughly 90 per cent of its components. With a new and more lightweight body, more efficient drivetrain, the latest suspension systems and Porsche Intelligent Performance improvements, drivers of this Coupé will experience even more dynamic driving as well as daily reliability while achieving 16 per cent less petrol consumption and consequent emissions.

Appropriately, Porsche developed not only the Porsche 911 Carrera's technology but also its design and proportions. A major noticeable difference is the wheelbase which is longer by 100 mm (3.94 inches). Front and rear overhangs are 32 mm (1.26 inches) and 12 mm (0.47 inches) shorter, respectively. Thus, total body length is increased by only 56 millimetres (2.20 inches). Also, compared to the preceding model, the roofline height is about 7 mm lower on the new Carrera and roughly 6 mm on the Carrera S. However, maximum headroom remains about the same. The Coupés that have sunroofs, which are new electric slide/tilt types, actually increase their headroom by 15 mm. In terms of total dimensions, the new 911 Carrera is a little under 4.5 metres (176.81 inches) long and around 1.8 metres (71.18 inches) wide, meaning it is still the most compact of all sports cars in its segment.

The generational style development of the Porsche 911 Carrera is evident from all angles. It looks like a sprightlier true coupé especially from its side view, due to its more convex windshield and larger alloy wheels. The front end is widened and features new headlamps and more prominent side air inlets. At the rear, the variably extending spoiler is also wider, making the coupé’s increased power more apparent. The spoiler, along with other streamlining enhancements, significantly reduces lift for an equivalently low drag coefficient. Rounding out the rear profile are the narrower and modified LED rear lamps.

The new Porsche 911 Carrera takes Porsche Intelligent Performance to a new level. The improved lightweight aluminium-steel body and the array of innovative components and systems ensure equitable improvements in both efficiency and driving dynamics.

Seven-speed manual transmission is standard on the new 911 Carrera, making it history’s first passenger car to boast this feature. This system is built upon the optional seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) module. Gears one to six have a close ratio for supreme acceleration capability, while the seventh gear provides overdrive-like characteristics for maintaining fuel efficiency at top speeds.

The new 911 Carrera is also the first Porsche to feature an auto start/stop function. This allows NEDC-based savings to reach 0.6 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC means New European Driving Cycle). The auto stop/start standardly functions closely with both the PDK and manual transmission. Also improving efficiency are the joint thermal management system for engine and transmission and on-board electrical system recuperation. This results to a further drop of petrol usage by 0.35 l/100 km. The new thermal management system also does away with underbody ventilation outlets, thereby contributing to streamlining and, consequently, performance.

The new 911 Carrera also sees the debut of the "sailing" function in a sports coupé. This works with the optional PDK transmission to reduce regular driving petrol consumption by up to a litre per 100 km. It works by disengaging the engine from the transmission in certain driving situations when the driver steps off the gas pedal. It enables the 911 Carrera to keep moving with an idle engine. When used at high speeds, this function maximises the car’s fuel efficiency.

The new Porsche 911 Carrera’s improved 3.4-litre engine is downsized Porsche-style, meaning it is smaller but produces greater power than that of the previous generation, which had a 3.6-litre engine. Complementarily, fuel efficiency is enhanced. Indeed, the new 911 Carrera with PDK is Porsche’s first sports car to pass the benchmark threshold of emitting less than 200 g/km CO2.

The suspension system on the Porsche 911 Carrera has also been overhauled with innovative components. The greater wheelbase length and the increased front track width translate to a better geometric footprint for better traction, as well as high speed longitudinal and cornering roll stability. Again, these are manifestations of the car’s improved driving dynamics.

The Porsche 911 Carrera’s new electro-mechanical power steering is the company’s first system that blends their renowned precision and feedback with unmatched efficiency and comfort. Because power is only used when steering, this system contributes 0.1 litre per 100 kilometres savings in petrol consumption.

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