The internet loves a good rumor and a bit of wild speculation, and the latest you might have seen is a set of patent drawings that supposedly prove Porsche is working on a plug-in hybrid version of its iconic 911 sports car.

Now, it may indeed be true that Porsche is working on a plug-in 911. It does, after all, produce a plug-in Panamera. It's also tested hybrid systems in racing for some time—and will be doing so again with its 919 Le Mans Prototype—and of course, the 918 Spyder is also a plug-in car. The trouble is, that isn't what the patent drawings actually show.

It doesn't take eyes of an eagle to spot that the car in Porsche's drawings is indeed a 911. But it's never referred to as such anywhere in patent number US20130335021 A1—only as "a motor vehicle", whose "body" is merely a vessel for the "charging connection apparatus". The latter—and not the 911 shown—is actually the subject of the patent. The images, and the bulk of their annotations, refer specifically to rather less interesting electronic and plastic components that go into the charging connector that Porsche has actually patented.

So why use the image of a 911 at all? Is it not a hidden message that a plug-in 911 is on the way? Probably not. Remember, this is a Porsche patent we're talking about. They needed to include a picture of a car for context in the patent drawings. If you're going to include one of your real-world vehicles, you might as well include the one everyone recognizes as a Porsche—the model that has practically defined the company since it debuted in 1963. Oh, and one final thing—the image isn't quite as new as some outlets are making out. The patent was actually filed almost a year ago and was published back in December, and the 911 shown is the previous 997 generation and not the latest 991.

So is a plug-in Porsche 911 on the way? Probably, at some point. Is that what these patent images show? Sadly not...


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