MANILA: Producing the Porsche 911 is no easy task: 1,500 workers touch each car throughout its two-day manufacturing process, which begins with a shell and ends with a car rolling off a line. Porsche has released a time-lapse video of the entire process, concentrating on a very special 911 GT3, part of the Paint to Sample program.
How many pre-approved colors beyond the standard selection are available on Porsche models with Paint to Sample?
With Paint to Sample, over 100 pre-approved colors beyond the standard selection are available on a new 911 or 718 from the factory. Over 50 options are available for the Taycan, Cayenne, Panamera, and Macan.
What is Paint to Sample Plus?
Customers can use Paint to Sample Plus to permanently add another color to the Porsche color range. Customers who order a color for the first time and pay the extra fee for color development can regard themselves as the color’s creator.
With dozens of individual options to choose from, spotting a pair of identical 911s is exceedingly rare. Color selection is a significant part of the customization.
The famous Paint to Sample program offered by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur was modified in 2021 to enhance capacity in order to meet the rising demand and improve customer convenience. Porsche’s huge long-term investment demonstrates the company’s commitment to creating anyone’s dream car. Over 160 pre-approved paint options are now available in the current catalog, including standard selections on each model line.
An additional color mixing bank was installed at the Zuffenhausen plant in Germany, where the 911, 718, and Taycan model lines are produced, allowing more Paint to Sample configurations to be completed without impeding production.
“In reaction to demand, we made a big step now and went from five cars a day to 20 cars a day, which means 120 cars per calendar week from Paint to Sample,” Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur Vehicles Head Boris Apenbrink stated.
Before its 117-stage assembly, the 911 chassis spends more than a day in the body and paint shop. Working with the material mix of the subcomponents is one of the problems in painting vehicles and creating paint finishes. A vehicle’s body is made up of various steel and aluminum materials, as well as carbon fiber and polypropylene. Paint batches must match all exterior elements and generate the same color.
The body is degreased, given a phosphate coat, and placed on an electro-chemical process primarily for corrosion protection before entering the paint shop. The body is dunked into a basin filled with electrophoretic dip paint and deionized water during the coating process. It is rotated around its own axis in the basin to obtain optimal coverage.
Between the three stages, a primer, base coat, and clear coat are applied to the body and panels, with a standard color consuming around 4 liters of liquid.
The final color dictates which primers are used; light colors require light primers, whereas dark colors require dark primers. The base coat is a colored surface that is only 30 micrometers thick and produces the desired hue.
The clear coat, the car’s final layer, is the thickest and is sprayed between 30 and 50 micrometers thick, demonstrating how thin the individual paint coats are. The painted car is then dried for over two and a half hours at a maximum temperature of 200 degrees Celsius.
“A lot of customers want to underline their personality with their car and bring their flavor into the car concept. Nothing underlines personality as well as the car color because this is what tells the story,” Apenbrink said.
Standard, metallic, and special colors are determined in advance for each model line in the series, and in some cases, even for each derivative for each model year. The amount of storage tanks and paint supply lines in the paint shops at the manufacturing plants dictate the number of colors available. As a result, from a purely mechanical basis, the 911 can only be offered in 17 standard exterior colors.
With Paint to Sample, over 100 pre-approved colors beyond the standard selection are available on a new 911 or 718 from the factory. Over 50 options are available for the Taycan, Cayenne, Panamera, and Macan. If a customer wants to take things a step further, they can use the Paint to Sample Plus program, which can color match practically any request as long as it passes a stringent feasibility test.
Paint to Sample Plus is only offered on the 911, 718, and Taycan for the time being, and color development usually takes five months. Customers can use Paint to Sample Plus to permanently add another color to the Porsche color range. Customers who order a color for the first time and pay the extra fee for color development can regard themselves as the color’s creator. The customer and color are entered into the Porsche Color Database, and the color is added to the Paint to Sample program’s pre-approved selections as soon as possible so that others can order the freshly generated paint color.
“You are building a bespoke car with individual craftsmanship processes behind it. You can have your bespoke color,” Apenbrink stated.
Leh Keen, a 311RS Motorsport team member who competes in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America one-make series, had never placed an order for a new Porsche from the factory until last year. He knew he’d be relying extensively on the Paint to Sample options for his 2022 911 GT3.
“It’s one of my favorite things, I’m obsessed with the different colors,” Keen shared. “I wanted to have this newest, modern 911 but then coated with a very classic old color. I told a few people I was going to go gold. People thought it was risky, and it really reinforced my choice and I wanted to see how it would turn out. I think a lot of people couldn’t quite picture the gold in their head.”
“At the dealership when they pulled the cover off of it, I was kind of stunned over how beautiful it was,” Keen recalled.
Apenbrink, like Keen, has seen a lot of Porsche colors come through the paint shop. Keen’s GT3 mesmerized him as well.
“I love the choice of Gold Bronze Metallic for this car,” Apenbrink said. “Until today, I can tell you this color had only been ordered 24 times, so it’s really rare. Really special. Now, it’s the first time to have the color on the 992 model type which is very exciting as well.”
Gold Bronze Metallic is also offered on the Macan and Panamera through Paint to Sample, and Apenbrink would want to see the color on either vehicle.
Watch the time lapse video here.
Photos from Porsche
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