Porsche's solution to building a four-door convertible version of the Panamera could be revealed in this new sequence of patent drawings obtained by Autocar.
The pictures show a sytem that runs from a permanent fixed central roof section. See the Porsche Panamera convertible gallery, including the patent drawings
Recent comments from Porsche insiders indicated the car had been cancelled, but renewals and fresh patent applications in the United States indicate otherwise.
The new car has a practical four-door body that, without a traditional B-pillar, has required substantial stiffening to the Panamera’s floorpan and bulkheads to ensure sufficient structural rigidity and integrity.
Bringing a four-door convertible to showrooms is a bold move that carries far higher development costs than a two-door open-top car. But with car makers seeking to establish unique selling points for all their models, it’s one that could provide Porsche with a valuable advantage.
Retaining a four-door layout allows the convertible to offer the same interior space as the saloon, although the boot is likely to be compromised by the need to accommodate the roof. The design of car’s rear end suggests the roof will be a fabric hood.
The Panamera’s windscreen has been altered with greater rake and, as seen on one of the patent drawings from Porsche in-house designer, Grant Larson, it also gains additional supports within the small quarter windows low down on the A-pillar.
While other car makers have considered four-door convertibles, the required stiffening and added weight have often proven stumbling blocks.
But advances in high-strength steel and tailored blanks (sections of steel in varying thicknesses) have reduced costs to a point where they are now being considered as part of new-model plans by many car makers.