Watch Porsche's Time-Lapse Video of the 911 Assembly Process
A first for the automaker, this little feature highlights how the iconic sports car gets built and promos the updated Paint to Sample program.
Craig ColeFormer reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Highlighting its Paint to Sample program, which lets owners pick the perfect color for their Porsche, the boutique German automaker released a time-lapse video on Friday that shows a 911 GT3 being built. You can watch this iconic sports car go from raw stampings to drivable vehicle in just a few short minutes. A rare treat, this is the first time Porsche has published a feature like this.
What does it take to build a 911? It's a two-day-long process that involves some 1,500 workers at the automaker's plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany. The Taycan EV and 718 models are built at this facility, too.
A large portion of that 48 or so hours is dedicated to paint. Before any color is applied, the body is degreased, so everything adheres as it should. Next, the car's shell and other components are phosphate coated in an immersion bath to help prevent rust and corrosion down the road. Once everything is dried off, components are primed before receiving their color; after that, a protective clear coat locks everything in. It takes about 4 liters of liquid to paint one of these cars in a standard hue, which is applied in three stages. After painting, the finish is baked in an oven at 392 degrees F for more than two and a half hours.
Part of Porsche Exclusive Manafaktur, the automaker's program that allows owners to customize their cars, Paint to Sample was updated late last year to expand capacity. "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," said Boris Apenbrink, head of vehicles at Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, in a statement. This is a huge increase in production -- one that doesn't, however, slow down the manufacturing of standard-color vehicles.
Because of logistical constraints, like the number of storage tanks and supply lines available in the factory, it's not possible for Porsche to offer more than 17 standard colors. But Paint to Sample gives customers more than 100 additional manufacturer-approved hues to choose from. This palette of colors is available on the 718 and 911. Other models including the
, Macan, Panamera and Taycan are offered with 50 additional special colors.
Taking things one step further, Porsche also offers something called Paint to Sample Plus, which is available on all model lines except for the Cayenne. The automaker will color-match nearly any hue a customer wants, though there are some considerations. Any proposed color must pass a "rigid feasibility test." Development also takes at least five months, other evaluations up to 11. Buyers who request a special color for the first time also have to pay the development costs, though if the paint is not approved, Porsche covers it.
Speaking of money, Paint to Sample pricing varies. For most 718 and 911 models it costs $11,430, though on 718 GT as well as 911 Turbo, Turbo S and GT3 variants it's slightly richer: $12,830. For most models, Paint to Sample Plus costs $22,860, though on the 911 Turbo and GT models as well as 718 GT variants it's a princely $25,660, nearly the base price of a Honda Accord.
If you're interested in a new Porsche (and who isn't?) you can specify Paint to Sample or Paint to Sample Plus through the dealership of your choice. It's not available just yet, but in the future, you'll be able to visualize your custom paint color in the Porsche car configurator, which should help you decide if hot pink or metal-flake gold are appropriate for the 911 of your dreams.
Watch this: 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS Hits All the Right Notes