Messing about with car configurators – Porsche edition

Porsche configurator

Porsche has an obsession with creating as many car variants and optional extras as possible. They’ve got 25 versions of the Porsche 911 alone, each offering what feels like the world’s longest options list. To find out what kind of bizarre, interesting, and expensive cars their obsession can create, I dove into their online configurator.

Porsche’s configurator is quite possibly the best in the industry. It has a 360-degree 3D viewer, providing a visual representation of nearly all exterior and interior options. But best of all, it has a button that plays the engine noise of the chosen car. Porsche’s entire website could just be that one button and I’d be perfectly happy.

Porsche 911 Carrera

To start, I chose the Porsche 911 Carrera. This is the base model of the 911 lineup, sending 350 horsepower to the rear wheels through a seven-speed manual gearbox. It has a starting price of $97,285 including destination fees. For the colour, I picked out a lovely shade of brown “Mahogany Metallic” – there goes $820 of my imaginary money. I kept the interior plain old black, but put down $4,400 to cover most of it in leather. To top it off, I added some very comfy-looking Adaptive Sport Seats with more ways of adjustment than I knew were possible. $3,960.

Porsche 911 Carrera

All pretty normal so far – pricey, but certainly plain. Things started to get interesting with the additional exterior options. For $5,700, I checked off the SportDesign package, adding a new front apron and a ducktail spoiler. Oh yes, now we’re talking. I completed the look with SportDesign mirrors, another $690 gone.

In order to match the show with a bit of go, I started adding performance options. Adding the (poorly-named) Porsche Active Suspension Management Sport Suspension forced me to choose some larger SportDesign wheels and torque vectoring – $7,140 gone in total. I finished off with carbon ceramic brakes and a Sport Exhaust System, robbing me of $13,100.

Porsche 911 Carrera interior

But the additional interior options are where things got really silly. If you want your trim to match the exterior paint, that’s $1,100. The air vents can be colour-matched as well, for $1,820. And for $385, the car keys are colour-matched too. You can pick from an assortment of instrument dial colours for $990, while coloured seat belts are an extra $620.

Then there’s a plethora of leather options. I opted to cover the sun visors and rearview mirror in leather. The latter forced me to pay for auto-dimming mirrors. $1855 for the whole shebang. You can even put leather on your fuse box cover, and since we’re playing with fake money, why the hell not? That’ll be $405. As a finishing touch, I picked the $290 SportDesign steering wheel, matching the theme from the exterior.

At the very end of the options list comes a bit of relief – the $0 European Delivery option. This allows you to pick up the car straight from the factory in Germany, where you get a factory tour, visit the Porsche Museum, and drive an identical model around Porsche’s own test track. Travel and accommodation is on the owner, so $0 isn’t an entirely accurate price – but this option is probably a greater value than everything else I’ve selected so far. Combined.

Porsche 911 Carerra

The end result? A $140,560 car, roughly 45-percent above the base price. And I’ve only touched a small fraction of what’s offered, skipping over must-haves like a sunroof, heated seats, or an improved sound system.

To put that in perspective, the Carrera GTS starts at about $10,000 less. It’s essentially two models up from this, packing 80 more horsepower, improved suspension, and a few visual tweaks. Now yes, I did add roughly $20,000 worth of performance goodies, but the GTS already comes with some of them standard. You can use the $10,000 you saved to purchase the remaining ones. If you want to add the comfy seats I chose, start with the Carrera S – you’ll still save $7,000, performance options included. You can even spec an identical exterior and pocket $500.

For those willing to go higher with the price, $3,000 more buys you a GTS drop-top. $8,000 more gets you the GT3, a track-focused 911 with 475 horsepower and a screaming 9,000 rpm redline.

If you’re looking for that personalized touch, however, Porsche clearly knows how to deliver. But honestly? You’re probably better off passing on the leather-clad sun visors for a more substantial car.

All prices are in Canadian Dollars. They’ll be roughly 10% lower in the US.

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