Porsche Design came to life in 1972 as the brainchild of Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, grandson of company founder (and 911 designer) Ferdinand Porsche. The design studio is celebrating 50 years of existence in 2022. If we were Porsche, we can’t think of a better way to commemorate a golden jubilee than by commissioning limited-edition variants of the 992-series 911 Targa 4 GTS, calling it the Porsche Design 911 50th Anniversary Edition.
Before getting to the car, we must discuss the watch that got the ball rolling. Porsche Design’s first product was a wristwatch, the Chronograph I. Released in 1972, Chronograph I was the world’s first “completely black watch,” Porsche said, and is the definition of the brand’s uncompromising commitment to precision and performance.
What’s more, Chronograph I is the first to transfer the design and functionality of a sports car to a wearable timepiece. Porsche Design is reissuing Chronograph I for the first time in its 50-year history to coincide with the 911 50th Anniversary Edition car. Only 500 watches will leave Porsche’s in-house watchmaking workshop in Solothurn, Switzerland, meaning it is the ultimate collector’s item for timepiece enthusiasts.
However, if you buy the car, you’ll also receive one of the commemorative timepieces. We’re not the biggest watch nerds on Earth, but Porsche Design said it has a tachymeter scale, case, and bracelet made of high-performance titanium. At the same time, it also has a “sapphire crystal case back,” which reveals a winding rotor that shares its design with the wheel of the special edition 911.
Paint It Black
Since the car pays homage to the watch, all 750 units of the 911 Porsche Design 50th Anniversary Edition are black, but two dark shades are available, Black and Jet Black Metallic. “Black was the color of the very first Porsche Design product, the Chronograph I,” said Roland Heiler, Managing Director and Chief Designer at Design Studio F.A. Porsche in Zell am See. “That’s why we’ve chosen it for our limited-edition model.”
Adding a spark of contrast to the black paint is a platinum Targa bar in a satin finish, with the same colorway for the door decals and those gorgeous 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels (from the 911 Turbo S), the latter getting colored Porsche crests on the hub covers. Other neat detailing includes high-gloss black brake calipers, a celebratory 50th Anniversary Edition badge on the rear grille slats, and a black 911 logo on the tail.
Exclusive Interior Detailing
Meanwhile, the 911 50th Anniversary Edition has black and gray Sport-Tex seats with memory settings and retro check patterns. Porsche’s Sport Chrono Package with a Porsche Design subsecond clock and a red second hand adorns the dashboard, while a leather steering wheel, embossed headrests, and brushed aluminum door entry guards are standard, too. In addition, you’ll find a silver 911 badge with F.A. Porsche’s signature on the dashboard trim.
The 911 Porsche Design 50th Anniversary Edition has the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six engine as the 911 Targa 4 GTS, pumping out 473 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque. Power goes to all four wheels via an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox or a seven-speed manual stick. Choose the PDK automatic, and you’re looking at zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and a 190 mph top speed, but the manual is the one to get.
It also has Porsche’s active suspension (PASM) and high-performance brakes from the 911 Turbo. Other performance goodies include an exhaust system that Porsche promises will deliver “an even more emotive sound experience” courtesy of bespoke GTS tuning and deleted cabin insulation.
All Porsche vehicles leave the factory with a four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty and a 12-year corrosion perforation warranty. Porsche’s extended warranty is worth considering if you like to put on the miles. This helpful guide will answer any questions you may have about extending your Porsche warranty.
Only 750 examples of the 911 Porsche Design 50th Anniversary Edition will arrive at dealerships this spring, and the order books are now open. Expect base prices to start at around $197,200 by the time the watch and destination charges are added. The watch can be purchased individually, however, for $7,700.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.