3D printing is nothing new in the auto industry, but customizing form-fitted sport seats for customer racers is an innovative way to test out a potential new personalization product. Then again, Porsche…
3D printing is nothing new in the auto industry, but customizing form-fitted sport seats for customer racers is an innovative way to test out a potential new personalization product.
Then again, Porsche has long used motorsport to hone its road cars, so the act of creating 40 prototypes of its “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat” for some European-based 911 and 718 client racers isn’t too much of a stretch.
Porsche Tequipment will start producing the new six-point safety belt-equipped “bodyform” driver’s seat prototypes in May 2020, and after it receives enough feedback from those customers, which will be incorporated into the seat’s development, it will start making them available to road car customers in soft, medium and hard firmness levels and various colours though its Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur division from mid-2021.
Just to be clear, custom-fitted driver’s seats have been part of the motorsports world for almost as long as car racing has existed, but 3D-printing technology will allow the same level of personalization in Porsche’s road cars, as long as enough owners expressed an interest.
Together with a driver’s seat specifically designed around an individual customer’s body contour, the new 3D-produced seats would allow for “an extended range of colours” so that owners could match their cars’ interiors to Porsche’s available “Special” colour palette, and their “Custom Colour” requests.
Along with the ergonomic fit for enhanced comfort and control, the new 3D-printed bodyform driver’s seat will allow for a totally unique interior design, plus lowered weight, and even “passive climate control” says Porsche, the latter due to the seat’s sandwich construction.
The base support, which is produced from expanded polypropylene (EPP), gets bonded to a “breathable comfort layer consisting of a mixture of polyurethane-based materials.” The external skin, made out of “Racetex,” features a perforation pattern that allows for climate control, while “window panels” expose the coloured components in the 3D-printed “lattice structure” and therefore give the seat a completely original look.
“The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle, and is thus important for precise, sporty handling. That’s why personalized seat shells customized for the driver have been standard in race cars for a long time now,” commented Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche. “With the ‘3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat’, we’re once again giving series-production customers the opportunity to experience technology carried over from motor sports.”
Due to all automakers’ capabilities in product development and production, many have been called into action to help stop the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus from spreading farther, and now Porsche is considering…
Due to all automakers’ capabilities in product development and production, many have been called into action to help stop the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus from spreading farther, and now Porsche is considering the employment of its 3D printers to produce critical medical products.
Before this it donated five million euros to “people in need as a result of the virus” and also spent 200,000 euros on food donations to charitable organizations.
“Porsche already supports a large number of charitable initiatives and we are significantly extending this commitment during the coronavirus crisis,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board. “There are people who urgently need help and we are concentrating on providing humanitarian aid. We can overcome the pandemic only if we work together and show solidarity.”
Additionally, Porsche is deploying its specialist staff, such as its medically experienced personnel and IT experts, to fight against COVID-19, plus the German luxury brand is supporting its Porsche employees to carry out voluntary work.
What’s more, the premium automaker is assisting with technical materials and supplies, like procuring personal protective equipment (PPE), plus it’s deploying its vehicles and providing logistics operations in the event of specific supply bottlenecks and transport requirements, while using its media presence to assist in the communication of appeals and important messaging as well, and finally Porsche is making donations and grants to various organizations in need of support due to COVID-19.
“We are supporting the food banks at our locations this year with 200,000 euros,” continued Blume. “In addition, we have made an offer to certain charitable organizations to provide vehicles with drivers, perhaps where there is a bottleneck in the transport of relief supplies or people. We have also increased donations from Porsche AG by five million euros. This amount will be used to support local organizations and people who are in need as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Our employees also help personally and voluntarily with the charitable organizations at our locations.”
As noted earlier, Porsche is considering the production of medical products too, which could be produced by the brand’s many 3D printers.
“We are currently clarifying with the state government which components are required,” added Blume. “They range from protective goggles to respiratory masks. For highly specialized medical products, you have to comply with the legal requirements and certifications. Here, the lead must lie with the medical technology specialists, who could then delegate orders to the automotive industry. Our 3D printers are available in any case. As a first step, we have already forwarded protective clothing from our stocks to the state government. And together with our parent company, Volkswagen, we are participating in the procurement of further equipment on a large scale, especially from China. We must also ensure that we look beyond the medical sector and recognize where our help is needed.”
All of these efforts have been put forward despite Porsche halting production on March 21st for an initial period of two weeks.
“We are assessing the situation as it presents itself,” Blume said. “The most important thing for us is that the supply chains can be rebuilt as soon as possible. We are less dependent on China than we are on our European neighbours. In this respect, I hope that we as a society will manage to contain the coronavirus and that we will then receive a signal at European level as to when we can all restart production.”
Like most automotive brands, Porsche Canada has also started to experience a dramatic downturn in sales, with its March 2020 deliveries reduced by 42 percent compared to the same month last year. It’s quite possible April will be worse, so kudos to Porsche for giving back in this time of need.
The Geneva Motor Show may have been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China), but that hasn’t stopped automakers from making their big reveals…
The Geneva Motor Show may have been cancelled due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China), but that hasn’t stopped automakers from making their big reveals online, and therefore Porsche has pulled out all the stops with the most exciting version of its all-new 992 yet.
The 2021 911 Turbo S just hit the web with a 61-horsepower bump over its much-revered 580-hp predecessor, which means it now makes a staggering 641-horsepower from an identically sized 3.8-litre six boosted by two VTG (variable turbine geometry) turbochargers. What’s more, the horizontally opposed engine also puts out an additional 37 lb-ft of torque for a total of 590, so be glad it comes standard with Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive that can transfer up to 369 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels when required.
The 3.8-litre turbo-six, which is based on the latest 911 Carrera engine generation, has been completely redesigned. It gets a new charge air-cooling system and new, larger VTG turbochargers in a symmetrical layout that feature electrically adjustable waste-gate flaps, while piezo injectors are said to significantly improve “responsiveness, power, torque, emissions, and revving ability.”
The standard gearbox is an upgraded Turbo-specific eight-speed dual-clutch PDK automated design, which allows for a shockingly quick sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds, an improvement of 0.2 seconds over its predecessor, while zero to 200 km/h arrives in a scant 8.9 seconds, this being a full second faster than the outgoing Turbo S.
To put the new 911 Turbo S into perspective, it’s a tenth of a second quicker from zero to 100 km/h than the current GT2 RS (soon to be replaced by one based on the new 992), a 700-horsepower monster. Those choosing the new 911 Turbo S Cabriolet will lose a tenth of a second in the other direction, but that makes the drop-top as quick as a GT2 RS, so it certainly hasn’t lost face in this regard. No doubt the convertible would be best for hearing the new sports exhaust system, which features adjustable flaps that promise the kind of distinctive sound only a Porsche flat-six can deliver.
An American performance spec worth noting is 10.5 seconds over the quarter mile on the drag strip, which is no small feat, while those lucky enough to test one out on the Autobahn will potentially be able to achieve a maximum speed of 330 km/h (205 mph) in either coupe or convertible model.
Hauling the Turbo S back down to reality are standard carbon-ceramic brakes with 10-piston front calipers, while control is further enhanced via a larger rear wing that, together with the pneumatically extendable front spoiler, delivers 15 percent more downforce than the outgoing model.
The new car is also wider than the outgoing 911 Turbo S by 45 mm (1.8 inches) above the front axle, measuring 1,840 mm (72.4 in) across, and 20 mm (0.7 inches) over the rear axle, spanning 1,900 mm (74.8 in), which should improve stability, while Porsche has tweaked its active suspension management system’s (PASM) software and hardware, lowering it by 10 mm (0.4 in) and providing “faster and more precisely controlled dampers,” stated Porsche in a press release, to enhance “roll stability, road holding, steering behaviour and cornering speeds.”
The numerous functional vents added to the Turbo S’ front fascia and rear fenders are more about engine and brake cooling, however, not to mention design aggression, with those added to the rear valance especially eye-catching. Additionally, special rectangular exhaust tips protrude from the outer edges of the black centre diffuser, while the entire Turbo S design gets rounded out by a set of staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear lightweight alloys wrapped in respective 255/35 and 315/30 Pirelli performance tires.
Inside, the new Turbo S is as livable as any other 911 and even more upscale thanks to a full leather interior with carbon trim and Light Silver accents, plus a GT sports steering wheel, a large 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen at dash central, a newly integrated Porsche Track Precision app within that centre display that comes as part of the Sport Chrono package, a Bose surround-sound audio system, and leather-upholstered 18-way power-adjustable sport seats.
The new 911 Turbo S will be available to order in April of 2020, with deliveries expected later this year. Pricing for the 911 Turbo S coupe starts at $231,700 plus freight and fees, while the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet starts at $246,300. To order yours, contact your local Porsche retailer.
Until it arrives, enjoy the few videos Porsche supplied.
The new Porsche 911 Turbo S: The peak of driving emotion (2:28):
The all new Porsche 911 Turbo S. Relentless. (1:02):
Livestream: new Porsche 911 Turbo S Premiere (14:56):
Personal customization is hardly a new service at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen headquarters. In fact, the revered performance brand has provided bespoke upgrade services since a client commissioned a fur…
Personal customization is hardly a new service at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen headquarters. In fact, the revered performance brand has provided bespoke upgrade services since a client commissioned a fur covered 356 in the 1950s, the company’s “Personalisation Programme” that followed eventually being renamed Porsche Exclusive in 1986. Just the same, nothing the automaker has done in the past could be deemed quite as personal as its most recent offering.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, now a special division under the German brand’s umbrella, now has the ability to paint your fingerprint on the hood of any 911 for just €7,500 ($11,100 CAD). The process doesn’t exactly utilize paint, but instead makes use of a new direct printing method developed by Porsche. Once your fingerprint is scanned, it gets transformed into a digital graphic before being printed onto a 911’s hood.
Porsche claims it will be able to print your fingerprint on other panels in the future, plus it will be able to print other customer-specified designs too, although for now this exclusive service is limited to the 911’s hood due to the relative ease of unbolting the hood from its hinges and the necessity to have the body panel removed. After removal, the biometric print gets applied by a robot with a clear coat added overtop for protection, after which the entire hood is polished to a high-gloss finish. Once done, Porsche claims its direct printing process will result in a finish that’s in fact superior to its already high-quality 911 paint finishes in terms of look and feel.
“The operating principle is similar to that of an inkjet printer: using a print head, the paint is applied to three-dimensional components automatically and without overspray. ‘The ability to control the nozzles individually permits targeted application of every paint droplet,’ stated Christian Will, Vice President Production Development at Porsche AG. ‘The complexity is due to the necessity of harmonizing three technologies: robot technology (control, sensors, programming), application technology (print head, graphic handling) and paint technology (application process, paint).’”
Requests for this new fingerprint service are beginning this month in the German market, and while it’s not directly available in Canada, there’s always a way to get things done if you’re willing to pay the necessary price.
Thirty-seven years ago a skunkworks division at Porsche transformed a 409-horsepower Type 935 race car into a handcrafted, slant-nose, big-winged, one-off road-going supercar filled with cream coloured…
Thirty-seven years ago a skunkworks division at Porsche transformed a 409-horsepower Type 935 race car into a handcrafted, slant-nose, big-winged, one-off road-going supercar filled with cream coloured leather and rich hardwood inlays. It was exclusively made-to-order for Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG) owner Mansour Ojjeh, a company now best known for its popular TAG Heuer luxury wristwatch brand.
This innovative team became known as Porsche’s “Personalisation Programme” as it continued building unique versions of its iconic 911 sports car for individual clients, one of which was a wealthy sheikh that ordered six identical custom 959 super cars, plus this division also created low run special editions before being renamed Porsche Exclusive in 1986. They developed a special Panamera Exclusive series soon after, plus a modified Macan, a special version the new Cayenne Coupe and more, while in 2017 they took on the name of the Zuffenhausen-based special projects team’s headquarters, Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur.
Now, at the beginning of Porsche’s era of electrification, it makes perfect sense to provide Exclusive Manufaktur upgrades to its upcoming Taycan electric four-door sports car, with this first foray resulting in in 90 customization options including three different Sport Design packages.
These packages “differ with respect to the inlays in the lower front apron, in the sill panels and in the side fins of the diffuser,” said Porsche in a press release. A bigger aero piece than previously shown was added under the headlights, while each Exclusive Manufaktur model also showed a more sculpted front fascia. The side fins can be painted body-colour too, or, depending on the package chosen, left as woven carbon fibre.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur will also provide Taycan owners with LED matrix headlights featuring “a three-dimensional circuit board graphic in the headlight housing as well as daytime running light elements in Glacier Ice Blue or other colours,” continued Porsche, while the headlamps will also include Porsche’s Dynamic Light System Plus. Enhancing the exterior design further, gorgeous 21-inch Exclusive Design wheels boast aeroblades formed from forged and milled carbon, these chopping 3.2 kg (6.6 lbs) from each standard alloy wheel’s weight.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur offers modifications to the Taycan‘s interior too, one of which is a Carbon Interior Package featuring a variety of contrasting colour motifs, seatbelts available in eight different colours including Blackberry, Bordeaux Red, Crayon, Graphite Blue, Lime Beige, Meranti Brown, Slate Grey, and Truffle Brown, and matte carbon fibre trim on the front and rear doors plus the centre console.
Additionally, Porsche announced an expansion of its Exclusive Manufaktur factory so as to manage expected growth. The once 2,000 square-metre (21,528 sq-ft) facility has increased in size by a third, with the updated floor plan now including four new lifting platform workstations, increased storage space, and a direct line to the finished-vehicle loading platform.
So if you’d like to have your new Taycan, or any other Porsche model “painstakingly hand-finished with high-quality components and special equipment packages for the exterior and interior to achieve an even higher degree of personalization,” make sure you talk to your local Porsche retailer about the Exclusive Manufaktur program.
Pricing and features information for the new 2020 Taycan can be seen at CarCostCanada, where you can also learn how to save on available manufacturer rebates, in-house financing/leasing options, and access otherwise difficult to find dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands on a new vehicle. Check out CarCostCanada for all the details.