I just watched a video of the the new targa roof for the Porsche 911 Targa 4. It really is impressive, everything sliding around in coordinated harmony and certainly makes the manual lift-off roof on the Corvette look rather basic. Apparently the Porsche engineers worked on the roof for two years to perfect its operation and it certainly looks like they did.
A few things strike me though. First, I wonder just how durable that mechanism is going to be in the long term. The complications introduced by that engineering look like a nightmare when the cars start to age. I have visions of half open rear windows, roof pillars stuck half open or closed and the targa caught somewhere in between.
The second thing is purely space related. In the vette I can take the roof off and leave it at home so it doesn’t take up storage space (if I feel confident enough about the weather!). It doesn’t look to me like that’s possible with the Porsche set up.
Finally, you have to wonder what the weight penalty is on a system like that. After all this is supposed to be a lightweight sports car!
There’s something to be said for simplicity. Again though, you have to admire the ingenuity and engineering involved.