No, that's not a Type 991 Porsche 911 Cabriolet – look closely and you'll see the first true Targa since the model variant disappeared from the Porsche 911 line in 1995. Oh yes, we know Porsche has been selling one in the interim, but to purists, the giant sunroof models of the past 17 years have been Targas in name only.
While we don't exactly know how Porsche plans to package this blast from the past, it's pretty clear from the spy photos that this car has a top with a removable center section that leaves the B-pillar intact. While the convertible disguise doesn't allow us to discern much more, could it be too much to hope that the rear window is also removable?
The other big question is whether this new true Targa will be available in both rear- and all-wheel-drive, or continue the recent Porsche practice of being offered only in the latter configuration.
Speaking of which, our spy shooters have also captured the soon-to-be-introduced 2013 911 Carrera 4 and 4S. You can see from the widebody rear haunches that these are the all-wheel drive 911 models, and the reflective strip that connects the rear taillights of the 4 and 4S is merely covered with tape. While Porsche has yet to officially announce these cars that everyone knows are coming, fuel economy numbers are already posted on the U.S. government's website.
The automatic 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, and 23 combined. Opting for the heavier Cabriolet model will reduce your fuel economy to 20/27 and 22 mpg combined. Seven-speed manual versions lose a single digit from each number in both coupe and convertible trims. The Carrera 4S automatic is rated at 19/26, and 22 mpg combined, while the manual is at 18/26 and 21 combined. The convertible 4S with an automatic is still at 19/26, but drops to 21 mpg combined, while the manual convertible fuel economy is unchanged from the coupe.
Expect to see more official news on the Carrera 4 and 4S very soon, and we'd expect Porsche to make a big stink about the Targa model at one of next season's big auto shows.
Check out all the high-res spy shots of the Targa prototype in this gallery, and the 2013 Carrera 4 in this one.