LOS ANGELES – Introducing the new 911 Targa 4 and Targa 4S at the auto show here, Peter Schwarzenbauer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc., says sales were up 8% through the first 10 months.

The German auto maker is anticipating 2006 to shape up as a great year unless sales completely fall apart in November and December, he says.

Schwarzenbauer cites the 911 Turbo, Cayman, Cayman S and the just- launched GT3 R as key vehicles for 2007, as well as the new Targa versions of the 911 that went on sale Nov. 2 starting at $86,000.

The Targa “is the most elegant way to drive a 911,” Schwarzenbauer says.

The Targa 4 and Targa 4S feature a wider body in the rear, a new aluminum trim strip that emphasizes the sweeping curve of the roofline and are the first Targas to offer a choice of two engine sizes.

The new 911s also carry over a panoramic glass roof that opens like a hatchback for easier access to rear cargo and slides back like a sunroof for open-air driving.

In a brief interview following his presentation, Schwarzenbauer says the hybrid-electric vehicle version of the Cayenne cross/utility vehicle is on track to be introduced before 2010.

He declines to be more specific about timing or expected volumes.

dwinter@wardsauto.com