One of the main words that comes to mind when describing the Luxury Home & Design Show is “bespoke.” One core idea is to give you an experience that’s tailor-made, so that you can express yourself and live in an environment that’s a reflection of who you are. For that reason, Porsche is the perfect sports-car company to be showcased at the event.
“I think the goal of [Porsche] is to allow customers to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to designing their car and creating their dream,” says Jonathan Thomson, product manager of Porsche Cars Canada. “We would see the average competitor offer about 25 percent of what we offer in terms of options.”
While other luxury car brands have massive parking lots full of stock cars “to create consistency,” Thomson says, Porsche doesn’t.
“We sell all of our product directly to the customer and not from the lot,” he says.
The majority of the sales at Porsche Canada are made-to-order, with an almost unimaginable number of ways to customize your ideal vehicle. The flagship 911 has 24 model variants, for example, while the newer Panamera has 16 model variants and 200 factory options. The Macan has 170 different selectable options, while a competitor’s luxury crossover SUV might only have 40 choices.
“You [can] really create your dream car from scratch,” Thomson says. Once ordered, customers typically wait three to 12 months, depending on the creativity of customization.
From larger design choices such as variant model types, to the finest, most subtle details, Porsche offers ways to personalize your dream machine. For example, the seat-belt trim and sun visor can be wrapped in leather or alcantara, a plush microfibre; the steering wheel column can be leather with contrast stitching to the colour of your choosing; and AC/heat ventilation slats can be painted or wrapped in leather.
“The smallest components on the inside that most manufacturers don’t even think about enhancing, [Porsche offers] in different colours, different variations and different materials,” Thomson says.
Porsche also perfectly fits with the Luxury Home & Design Show focus of timeless, classic craftsmanship and design for today’s most discerning customer.
“Old world meeting new world is in many ways 911… ensuring the car stays relevant, but not sacrificing the legacy of the car,” Thomson says.
Thomson credits August Achleitner, the head designer of the 911 line, with an encapsulating quote: “When it comes to design, anything but contrived.”
“There’s a hard push for authenticity,” Thomson says. “Because the  looks very similar to the way it looked 40 years ago, it is still part of the dream of Ferdinand Porsche and the founders of the brand. That’s very special.”
Thomson says the point of origin for Porsche is still the 911, and the other model lines are all emblematic of this original icon in their own ways.
“The common thread is certainly performance-based engineering, ensuring that there’s still a Porsche feel to the way the car handles — the lateral dynamics, the braking, the acceleration,” he says.
Porsche will bring four rare limited-edition cars to the Luxury Home & Design Show, to give a taste of what’s possible. The 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series and the Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition are designed and produced by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur.
Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, formerly known as the Porsche Sonderwunsch or “special wishes” program, is the factory where the most select Porsches are brought for final assembly. It’s been around since 1978, showing that Porsche has been well ahead of the current luxury trend of customization.
“Back in the day, the company brought to market very special, unique, sometimes even one-off cars for very special customers willing to pay to have something bespoke from the ground up,” Thomson says.
Both the Turbo S Exclusive Series 911 and the Macan Turbo Exclusive Performance Edition have very limited runs with only 500 and 209 units available around the globe respectively.
The Turbo S has 43 unique components, 23 of which can’t be found anywhere else, including a unique exhaust system, wheels, brakes, and interior.
“The Exclusive Team has developed a Turbo S Power Kit [with] technical and software changes that give you an additional 27 horsepower,” Thomson says, totaling 607 horses in contrast to the standard 580.
In addition to performance enhancements, the limited 911 will showcase a new way of layering paint on the wheel. A standard wheel is black with gold accents. With this one, the wheel is fully painted in gold, then black on top. Using laser technology, sections of the black are etched off, allowing the yellow gold to show through. Thomson says you have to see it in person to fully appreciate its allure.
The Macan also showcases beautiful design features, such as hand-painted red contrast paint on the side blades, front and rear bumper.
“That was the first time we’d implemented this new hand-painted pinstriping along the car,” Thomson says. “With other manufacturers, it’s usually done with stickers and decals, which over the years don’t showcase very well.”
The 718 Boxster S and Panamera 4 E-Hybrid coming to the Luxury Home & Design Show are both designed by Porsche Cars Canada.
Thomson says the thinking behind these two was, “Let’s pick the most special, using what’s available to us from the factory” — about 250 different options.
Porsche recently decided to reinvent the Boxster, with its name of “718” and new style paying tribute to the 1950s champion Porsche race car.
For the 718 Boxster S coming to the show, “We’ve created this one in GT Silver and then painted every component possible on the outside to make it look like those race cars in semi-polished aluminum,” Thomson says. Five major outside components and six inside components were designed to give it that “historic nostalgic feel.”
Even with its Panamera — the executive car model comparable to the BMW 7 series or Audi A8 — Porsche still seems to be in a class of its own.
“What we tried to do with Panamera is really create a four-door version of 911,” Thomson says. Even the electric hybrid coming to Vancouver June 21–24 has sport exhaust to make its 462 horsepower sound like thunder once the electric engine has switched off.
The 911 sportscar spirit of Ferdinand Porsche clearly lives on with the brand today. The late founder famously said, “I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself.” Now Porsche is passing that ability on to all of us.
Porsche will display its vehicles at the Luxury Home & Design Show in Vancouver, June 21–24, 2018. The show is hosted by Magnifissance’s sister media, Taste of Life. Learn more about the Luxury Home & Design Show.