STUTTGART, Germany – I stand corrected. I assumed that despite how striking the Golden Yellow Metallic paint finish on the vehicle used by Porsche at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed to launch its new "Exclusive Manufaktur" programme is, surely the majority of the 500 deposits secured for this newest limited edition product would opt for one of the other two, somewhat more conservative colour schemes offered. And yet, with two-thirds of these modified Turbo S units sold within the first two days of the order books opening, most buyers, is seems, prefer the doubtlessly more collectable launch colour.
You've always been able to add unique bits to your Porsche, so what is Exclusive Manufaktur?
Indeed, some 38% of all the 911 models sold in 2016 left the factory fitted with one or more of the 600 "exclusive" personalisation items currently offered by Porsche AG; the most popular of these including an embossed manufacturer badge within the headrest, an exhaust system upgrade and painted wheels. A regular contributor to the bottom line since 1986, this important department within Porsche has, with the launch of the 911 Turbo S Exclusive, been rebranded as Exclusive Manufaktur with a view to offering customers even more when it comes to making their cars an extension of their own personality.
Along with offering personalisation touches to standard models, this department also continues its tradition of creating anniversary and market-specific models (including the beautiful Irish Green Carrera 2 built to celebrate the one millionth 911 built), as well as bespoke, limited-edition, offerings that harness all that is good about a standard model, yet with enhancements to make it that much more collectable. The new Turbo S Exclusive is of the latter.
So, it's based on the already special Turbo S, but what's unique about these 500 cars?
As mentioned, the Turbo S Exclusive is offered as standard in a choice of three colours: Golden Yellow Metallic, Carrera White and Agate Grey. Towards the end of the production run, three more colour options (Black, Guard Red and Graphic Blue Metallic) will also be available at an additional fee.
Distinguishing the Exclusive from a standard Turbo S is the gold accenting on display both on the exterior and interior of the car. Notable is the attention to detail and workmanship that’s gone into creating these design highlights. For example, the black racing stripes featured on both the bonnet and roof are, in fact, exposed (and carefully treated over a three-week period) panels of the carbon-fibre used to make these body parts.
Also impressive is the fact that the bespoke 20-inch wheels fitted to the Exclusive, while offering the thinnest spokes ever used by Porsche, are actually first completely coated in a gold finish prior to being coated with black paint, before a laser cutting tool frees the primary colour into millimetre-perfect highlights. Further use of black and gold can be found on the brake callipers, usually finished in yellow when announcing the fitment of ceramics brakes, and standard on the Exclusive. Further cosmetic highlights include the adoption of the wing design and bumper mods that form part of the Turbo S’s optional aero package.
There’s more careful attention to detail and, you guessed it, gold to be found in the cabin. Here, along with stitched gold highlights around everything leather and gold “infused” carbon bits, the standard sports seats feature perforations in the form of racing stripes.
Geez, that’s a lot of gold highlighting...
Realising it won't be to everyone's tastes, Porsche will gladly tone down the presence of gold within the package, including from the wheels and portions of the interior, at no additional cost.
Gold denotes first place. Is the Exclusive any faster than the standard Turbo S?
Indeed it is. As intricate as the cosmetic upgrade on the Exclusive model is, owners of these rare creations also demand distinction in terms of performance. Further to this, the standard car’s 427 kW turbocharged flat-six engine has been fettled to deliver an additional 19 kW, while the 750 N.m of torque offered by the Turbo S in maximum attack Sport Plus mode is a permanent fixture in the Exclusive.
While a claimed 0-100 km/h time of just 2,9 seconds remains unchanged between the two cars, these small enhancements translate rather to a slightly improved 0-200 km/h (as you do) time of 9,6 seconds, as opposed to 9,9 in the standard car.
Some potentially garish gold and a small performance advantage. So, what’s the point?
Exactly as the name implies: exclusivity. Porsche has even gone so far as to design, develop and manufacture – through its Porsche Design brand – a bespoke watch offered only to owners of the 911 Turbo S Exclusive, finished with both matching colour scheme and model number, as an extension of this unique ownership experience.
While always grateful for a timely reminder of just how brutal a 991-generation 911 Turbo S is under hard acceleration, yet also how docile and effortlessly comfortable it can be everyday driving conditions, it was the considered attention to even smallest detail, including the sight of the cup-holder emblem finished in gold rather than white as per usual, that made, and makes, models like these special – and, indeed, collectable.