Italian supercar maker Ferrari has filed a patent with the European Patent Office for a new targa top design that supposedly improves aerodynamics and reduces interior turbulence. If you’re familiar with drop-top motoring, one of the biggest issues with taking the top off is wind turbulence inside. Turbulence in the cabin is annoying when you’re in a Mazda MX-5, but we can only imagine it’s extra infuriating when you’re in a priceless Ferrari.
To that end, it seems that the engineers at Maranello have found a solution (in theory). It starts with the top itself, which is “made of a plastic material to have a reduce weight, and therefore be easily handled by one person.” That targa top is supported by the windscreen frame at the front, as well as a “robust full-width roll-bar” at the rear, which integrates a rear windscreen as well.
Turbulence reduction is attributed to a new protection panel, which is noted in the patent figure as item #15. That panel is built into the rear parcel shelf, and allows air to flow over the windscreen and then beneath the rear roll bar, between it and that protection panel, theoretically reducing air turbulence rather dramatically.
Additionally, it allows Ferrari to build the rear roll bar lower than the windscreen, which will certainly come as good news to their designers. Further, the patent filing says that the new targa design is “easy and inexpensive to manufacture,” and only requires the addition of a couple of elements to make it work.
There’s no telling if this is just a study, or if Ferrari intends to put this into production. Ferrari hasn’t offered a targa-top production car in some time, with only special cars like the Ferrari J50 and the LaFerrari Aperta getting the remove-it-yourself panel roofs. But it’s possible that with this latest filing, the targa top could be making a comeback.