Remember the one-off Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe? Or perhaps more prolifically, the 911 Sally Special? Those are projects taken on by Porsche’s wonderful and mysterious Sonderwunsch division. Sonderwunsch means “special wish” or “special request” when you translate it from German into English, and that defines the program perfectly.
We’ve seen some of the division’s more recent creations, but at Rennsport Reunion 7, we got a chance to speak to Alexander Fabig, the VP of individualization and classic at Sonderwunsch. Did you know that the waiting list for one-off creations is currently at 8 years? Or that you could bring Porsche an old car, tell them to paint it any new Paint-To-Sample (PTS) color you want, and they’d do it? And to take it even further, Porsche will print you an official, new monroney with the new color and upholstery. After all, it’s a factory build.
Those fun facts and more are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Sonderwunsch can do. It’s essentially a playground for the ultra-rich to design and customize the Porsche of their dreams. Fabig tells us that Sonderwunsch is currently working on nine one-off projects in parallel, but with the high demand, Porsche hopes to extend output to 15 cars per year. That may not sound like a lot, but if you look at the complexity and custom work that comes with putting together a car like the 911 Classic Club Coupe, you’ll understand why it takes so long.
Of course, the sheer cost of ordering a one-off through Sonderwunsch also helps to keep the demand at a doable amount. When you commit to a one-off car, you’re effectively hiring a Porsche team consisting of design, engineering, product leads and more. Put these people to work, and Fabig says you’re looking at a number of at least $100,000 once pen goes to paper for the one-year design phase. How much higher it goes from there is entirely up to you and the sort of work that needs doing. Choose to have Porsche develop a new paint with fancy effects to it, and that’ll be $200,000. You can pay even more money to make sure that color remains exclusive to your car instead of ending up on the Porsche configurator one day. Ask for a special interior upholstery, and that’s another $50,000. The main point here is that you have to be ready to write a blank check to make that Sonderwunsch come true.
Once the one-year design phase is done, it’s likely that you’ll be waiting another year or two for the car to actually be delivered. Every vehicle it delivers comes with the same factory warranty as any other Porsche, so the factory needs to do testing to ensure whatever the customer is asking for lives up to Porsche standards. And if you request unique materials or things that don’t, Porsche will tell you, and then it won’t be covered by the same warranty. As an example, Fabig says that certain interior material requests might not live up to Porsche durability testing, so it informs the customer that such a material is compromised. You can still ask Porsche to build the car like that, but if you go way out of touch, you’ll finally start running into the word “no.” Fabig says that Porsche won’t manufacture design bits that are obvious copies of other OEM design elements, nor will it put together any preposterous engine builds making wild amounts of horsepower. Assuming the customer is planning on driving the car on the road, Porsche is bound by road regulations, which is where a lot of roadblocks come up.
Those sort of roadblocks are ones that Porsche stays in constant contact with the customer about. If you order a one-off, expect to have somewhat regular meetings with the Porsche team assigned to your build. Porsche says that some of its customers are constantly wanting to check in, while others stay hands-off and only chat a few times per year, but the company is happy to accommodate either level of involvement.
And just like we alluded to, don’t think the Sonderwunsch program is only for new cars. There’s a 2-3-year waitlist to get your used car into the Porsche Classic division of the program, and the possibilities are similarly endless. Due to the high entry fee, the Carrera GT is a popular entry at the moment, and Porsche’s already delivered some of those completed cars back to customers. Imagine taking the Carrera GT, a car that had rather limited appearance options when new for a Porsche product, and opening the entire PTS and upholstery book for it. The possibilities are truly endless. Well, as endless as your bank account.
And it’s more than just the headline cars like the 911 or Carrera GT that are getting attention from the Sonderwunsch program, too. Fabig says that there’s growing demand for its four-door cars and even the electric Taycan to go under the custom microscope. These cars are typically in the far less exclusive Sonderwunsch Porsche Exclusive category that limits customization to paint colors, stitching, upholstery colors and most other things that don’t involve fundamental changes to the vehicle itself. Those latter cars are part of the one-off build process that we’ve detailed throughout this story.
As a parting question, we asked Fabig if we’ll be able to see all of these one-off builds as they get released, or if the owners are planning on keeping them secret. Thankfully, Fabig tells us that none of its customers are secretive to the point of not wanting the world to see the cars and that we should expect to see detailed photos and press releases about all of the one-off builds that are on their way. Now, we’ll just need to wait patiently as the Sonderwunsch team bolts them together.