Porsche Will Now Build You a One-Off If You Pay to Develop It

·3 min read
Photo credit: Porsche
Photo credit: Porsche

Porsche's Sonderwunsch—Special Wishes—program has been offered to the company's most important customers for decades now. This program has produced things like a 935 street car for TAG Group CEO Mansour Ojeh and 993 Speedsters for Butzi Porsche and Jerry Seinfeld. Now, Porsche is formalizing its Sonderwunsch program, and offering a handful of customers the opportunity to order something truly custom. If they pay to develop it.

The program, a collaboration between Porsche Exclusiv Manufaktur and Porsche Classic, will offer 1000 cars per year with significant color and trim customizations, but just 3-5 "one-offs." These cars will have significant mechanical deviations and they'll be seriously expensive. The customer will work with Porsche for a year to assess technical feasibility while paying around $100,000 in development costs, and once it's determined whether it's possible to build what is requested, the customer gets to chose if they want to shell out more to have their car made.

Right now, Porsche hasn't specified what's possible and what isn't. But on a call with a handful of media, I made a few proposals. A Cayman with the engine from a 911 GT3? Not likely, as the GT3's engine was never meant to fit in the relatively small engine bay of Porsche's mid-engine sports car. What about a lifted "Safari" 911 Turbo? Now we're talking. The representatives from Porsche didn't discuss this at length, but they also didn't dismiss it as preposterous either. (Worth noting that Porsche explored a factory Safari build with a 911 GT3, which is pictured above.)

So if a high-riding 911 strikes your fantasy, Porsche might just build it for you. All you have to do is pay the R&D budget. And if you do have this car built, I don't need credit for the idea, but maybe let me have a go behind the wheel.

This expanded Sonderwunsch program also encompasses classic cars. Porsche already offers factory restorations for classic models, but now it's also "recommissioning" newer models. Say you own a 997 GT3 RS and you want it repainted and retrimmed—now you can have that done at the factory. The one-off program will also be offered for classic cars as well, and there are already two customers signed up.

Porsche will do pretty much anything you want, but only if your request fits the company's ethos. And for those who can't afford these crazy customizations, Porsche is also expanding its offerings for aftermarket performance parts and upgrades sold through dealers. There's everything from new Fuchs wheels for old 911s—which is a big deal for the enthusiasts—to a sport suspension in development for the 959. Plus, Porsche will soon bring a 911 GT2 RS upgrade kit developed by Nürburgring aces Manthey Racing to the U.S. for the first time. A GT2 RS equipped with the MR kit ran a 6:40 around the Nürburgring in 2018, which is still a record for a road-legal car.

Photo credit: Porsche
Photo credit: Porsche

Last, there's a new car in the Porsche Classic family: The first-generation Cayenne. No, really. Porsche welcomes a model into the Classic family 20 years after production began, which for the original E1 Cayenne is next year. Spare parts for the Cayenne will now be handled by Porsche Classic, and the company is also developing new performance parts and accessories for its first SUV. Porsche previewed some of its wares on two lifted concept Cayennes built for overlanding. We're hoping to learn more about these cars in the coming days.

We really just want to see the results of this newly expanded Sonderwunsch program. Surely some of these cars will be hidden away, but you can bet you'll see others at your local cars and coffee, and certainly on Instagram.

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