Looking like nothing so much as a Panamera sedan that's had the roof lopped off behind the A-pillars in Photoshop, the first patent drawings of the upcoming Porsche Panamera Convertible gave us a clear idea of what to expect. Fortunately, the top-down version does away with what many consider the Panamera's least appealing feature: the bulbous rear roofline. Or maybe not--the latest drawings to surface indicate a T-top layout with a rear-end profile not far from the sedan's.

The new T-top patent drawings show us  what appears to be a three-part roof that collapses the sides into the main center panel. This would theoretically allow Porsche to retain some longitudinal stiffness while still opening up most of the cabin to the sky. The lack of a B-pillar will still call for more lateral reinforcements, however, potentially compromising handling and acceleration with the added weight. It's not yet clear if this is the primary convertible option or merely a variant--or even if this is definitely headed to production. The soft-top convertible version we've all heard about may yet see production, too.

Unfortunately, the long proportions of the whited-out space in the drawings hint that the soft convertible top may share the lumpy proportions of the bulbous hard top, with the potential for added ugliness in the form of a soft top's support-bar-marred silhouette once the top is up.

For many, however, that's sure to be a small price to pay for such potent performance, four real seats, and top-down cruising potential. We're not sure where we land on the matter yet, but we're keeping our minds open (even if we have to squint our eyes a bit). The real question will be whether Porsche can cut the roof off without adding lots of weight and/or flexibility to the Panamera's otherwise impressive chassis.

The Panamera Convertible could put the wind in your hair by early next year, but there's no clear timeline for production yet. For more details and a preview rendering of what the car may look like, check out our preview here.

[Autocar 1, 2]