Porsche's new 2012 Porsche 911 cabrio could get an all-new metal-folding hardtop roof design, like the upcoming Ferrari 458 Spider, that also features a canvas wrap over the top of the metal panels.
These patent images, revealed by German Car Forum, show in detail what Porsche is thinking of here. The design shows four metal panels that collapse like a conventional hardtop. These panels are then covered in a canvas sheet. It's the first and last panel design that becomes interesting.
The first and last panel, as pictured above as number 5 and 22, will be tightly covered in the canvas sheet, permanently. The remaining middle panels will be covered in canvas as well but the sheet won't be completely fixed, as outlined in this recent spy shot of the new design in action below.
This will allow the canvas sheet to become flexible when the roof is lowered but also, the design will ensure the canvas stays tightly wrapped over the car, keeping aerodynamics consistent.
It is all still a bit up in the air at this stage, but if these patent images are real, Porsche could at least be considering the design as a option on the upcoming Porsche 911. The canvas top look will appeal to Porsche 911 cabrio purists, while the metal panels underneath will ensure structural integrity is kept high.