Porsche Panamera Convertible patent drawing - click above for high-res image gallery
See, apparently we aren't crazy, though we may have been a little smidge off the mark. Back in October, we reported that Porsche had begun work on an open top version of their then new Panamera super sedan. Only we said it would be a two-door 'cause, you know, drop top and all that. Whoops! If these alleged German patent office images from Autocar are anything to go on, Porsche is going after the highly nuanced (to put it mildly) – and presumably lucrative – four-door convertible market, joining the ranks of such noted automakers as... those dudes in Miami that chop the tops off Chrysler 300Cs. Okay, fine, the Maybach 62 Landaulet is kinda like a four-door convertible (but not quite), though at $1.35 million, it actually might compete in a different segment. And yes, yes – we know – the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is technically a four-door convertible.
But never mind any of that, as judging by these images, the Porsche Panamera convertible looks to be pillarless, something that the neither the $25,000 Jeep nor the mega-bucks Maybach can lay claim to. As such, the Panamera's chassis would presumably have to be beefed up in a major way to retain some semblance of stiffness and rigidity. Though maybe not quite as much as you (and we) might think. If you look closely at the patent images, you can see that, like the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop Head Coupe, the A-pillar has been reinforced with a mini-triangle. You'll also note that the Pan's butt isn't any bigger than before, suggesting a folding cloth top as opposed to a space-intensive retractable hardtop. Back to chassis strength – thanks to modern production techniques, it's possible to substitute in thicker gauge steel that will increase stiffness without adding as much weight as traditional afterthought convertible chassis bracing.
And where does this leave those of us wishing for a modern-day 928? Not in a very good place, we're afraid. These patent drawings clearly show that the new, most-likely upcoming Panamera Convertible has been engineered as a four-door from the get-go, and never a duoporte. Shame...