Porsche’s Exclusive Manufaktur is the recently renamed department in Zuffenhausen not far from the Stuttgart factory that can bring your custom, one-off, or just downright crazy dreams to reality.
“Exclusive Manufaktur isn’t new,” Paul Ellis, Director, Public Relations and Motorsport for Porsche Australia told CarAdvice in Stuttgart. “We’ve been able to do this for a long time, and in fact we have been doing it for customers. We are now showcasing this bespoke mastery in the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Edition and using the launch of this car to create greater awareness of what we can do.”
Porsche has already opened specialist outlets in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Shanghai and Dubai. In Australia, the plan will be to work specific Exclusive Manufaktur outlets into existing dealerships.
Selected dealers in Australia are, in fact, already able to promote the Exclusive Manufaktur options and that network will be expanded in the future. Believe it or not, up to 40 per cent of all 911s sold globally have some sort of custom touch already according to Elena Storm, Spokesperson for Porsche Sports Cars.
While Porsche hasn’t really crowed about the custom options before, it chose the launch of the desirable 911 Turbo S Exclusive Edition (restricted to no more than 500 vehicles globally) to make the Exclusive Manufaktur system more visible to potential buyers. The name is new too, rebranded to appeal to customers with even deeper pockets than those already required to snare a 911 Turbo S.
It’s common to think about Italian manufacturers like Ferrari or Lamborghini or British marques like Aston Martin, Jaguar and McLaren churning out all manner of custom options, but the engineers and craftspeople at Porsche are no less enthusiastic, talented or committed to delivering exactly what customers want.
According to Boris Apenbrink, Director Customer Centre Consultation, there is no better halo example of what is achievable than, “such a master car as the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series”. It’s all about making an even more individual statement with your Porsche so that you can stand out from the crowd.
In short, Exclusive Manufaktur is a custom workshop that takes delivery of your Porsche from the assembly line and then fettles the interior or exterior to your specific order.
Different leather can be used, different coloured stitching, extra carbon-fibre, all manner of individual touches that, if you’re clever enough could make your Porsche a one-off. We spotted a 911 Cabriolet rolling into the studio that had all manner of different options and custom touches fitted to it – we just weren't allowed to take photos.
The Turbo S Exclusive Edition is much more than simply a tweaked 911. The wheels take four days from start to finish, for example. Fifty different components are added to the 911, and it takes almost three weeks to build the stunning carbon-fibre bonnet and roof.
The wheels alone illustrate the meticulous attention to detail. First they are painted gold, then the whole wheel is painted black, then a laser etches the black paint away in areas where Porsche wants the gold detail to be revealed, and then the wheel is gloss clear coated. Aside from the laser etching, it’s a traditional process, all done by hand.
The wheels in fact, might be the most obvious custom touch that you can assess to understand the truly incredible level of detail and workmanship that goes into this process. There’s a seamless transition between colours, with no change in the surface finish anywhere, no matter how hard you look. The same goes for the transition between painted surface and raw carbon-fibre on the body, too. It's properly bespoke, high-end stuff only.
“Your inspiration is our passion,” said Dr. Tobias Donnevert – Director Customer Centre Special vehicles. “That’s the new motto of the Exclusive Manufaktur. First and foremost, our customers come up with their ideas, centre stage are our efforts to serve them, to use our knowhow, knowledge and passion to make these wishes a reality.”
Dr. Donnevert went on to explain there are more than 600 different options you can order anywhere you go at any Porsche sales centre around the world.
“We can even go beyond those 600 options if you want something even more custom,” he said. “We give you the utmost in customisation and individualisation.”
Integral to the Exclusive Manufaktur story is highlighting this extensive list of options, the design, the passion of the Porsche brand and it’s people.
“It’s all of that,” Dr. Donnevert said. “All about workmanship, and our love for detail.”
Boris Apenbrink is keen to emphasise the importance of vehicles like the Turbo S Exclusive Design in making this process even more visible to the public, whether they are buying such a limited edition or not.
“Why we are doing these small, limited series?” he asked. “Our claim is your inspiration is our passion, our heart and our blood, it’s how we see what we do. We come up with these small, limited edition series, there is plenty of inspiration from within the company.”
It’s fair to assume that buyers going down such a decided custom route would be existing, or indeed previous, 911 owners and that is very much the case, although cashed up buyers new to the brand also want to make a statement it seems.
“We’ve had countless consultations and wishes from our customers," Apenbrink said. “These owners are real aficionados, people who love the brand who want to show their personality with the car they drive and with these cars we are looking at those drivers.”
You can order custom touches for your Porsche right now at your dealer anywhere in Australia, and if you want to make your Porsche – whichever model it might be – stand out from the crowd, there’s a vast array of options at your fingertips.
Having seen the Exclusive Manufaktur facility up close, there’s no doubt in my mind, it’s at the very top of the customisation tree.
Click on the Photos tab for more images of the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur design studio