Convertibles have historically been shuffled into two categories: folding soft tops and retractable hard tops. Now it looks Porsche is looking to blur the line between the two with the roof of the next-generation 911. The crew from managed to lay its hands on a patent drawing that clearly shows a roof design that uses metal panels at the front and rear with two sections of canvas between the two. What are the advantages of the design? It's difficult to tell from the drawing alone, but we'd imagine that a leading metal edge may help reduce cabin noise when in place, though the patent itself cites aesthetic reasons behind the move.

At this point, it's unclear whether or not we'll see the new roof on the 2012 911. All of the convertible test vehicles we've seen so far have proudly rocked a traditional canvas roof, though that doesn't mean that the engineers at Porsche haven't pulled some trickery to disguise the lid's sheetmetal components. With the vehicle slated for a full unveil at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it won't be long before we'll know all there is to know about the 911 Cabriolet. Head over to for a closer look.

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