It’s impossible not to be impressed by a visit to TechArt. The glass-fronted building is situated in a quiet corner of Leonberg – sharing its hometown with Gemballa.
Right in the heartland of Porsche, with Stuttgart and Weissach just a few kilometers away, TechArt’s headquarters house an impressive array of their latest products, with everything from full cars to miniature models, giving you an exact idea of what TechArt are about.
Through the front door, and I’m immediately confronted by Cayenne-based early and latest generation TechArt Magnums, sitting alongside the very latest Boxster and 991 Cabrios fully dressed in the very best interior and exterior cosmetic packages.
But inevitably it’s the 710bhp white-and-black 997 that grabs the attention, and has me pouring over its every detail and aching to get behind the wheel and discover what this power in a GT2RS feels like.
Or, if you have a spare €215,000 (£183,000), you could buy it and find out for yourself! For us, the stunning GT Street RS will have to wait for another day, as I’m here to get behind the scenes of TechArt and find out a bit more about the company that brings us these incredible modified Porsches.
While many will identify with TechArt for the impressive back catalogue of extreme cars from the GT Street and Grand GTs of today, to 1994’s supercharged CT3 (a 462bhp 993), TechArt is a very diverse business nowadays, with extreme conversions representing just ten per cent of the total business.
A stroll around the impressive showroom offers some clues to the remaining 90 per cent, as beyond the full cars there are shelves and display cases of the myriad individual pieces TechArt offer to personalise your Porsche.
You’d expect to find the selection of wheels, exhausts, pedals and suchlike, but pieces like a cutaway showing just how a TechArt steering wheel is assembled, material samples and trim option parts give an insight into the true foundation of todays TechArt, and demonstrate the deserved confidence in their quality.
Interior work represents 30 per cent of what TechArt produce, with everything from a replacement steering wheel to a full interior retrim with any material and colour choice you desire on the menu.
Our visit to the trim shop is eye opening – this is true handmade quality, no different to what you’d expect to find in the specialist departments of Aston Martin or Bentley. And with ten highly skilled staff trained to work here, there’s plenty of scope to accommodate demand.
Despite our tour coinciding with Friday lunchtime, there’s still five workers busily creating in here, from floor mats having their labels stitched to a custom pair of Cayenne seats.
So with the interior of your Porsche taken care of, perhaps it’s time to move onto an exterior cosmetic package. TechArt will be only too happy to oblige, with a full suite of body addenda and wheels available across the Porsche range.
There’s something to suit all tastes, from a full wide arch Cayenne to a simple lip spoiler for your 996. And while trusted suppliers manufacture these parts, they are made to exacting standards specified by TechArt designers.
The company’s high standards are highly visible during our tour, particularly as we take in the service area, which accounts for another 30 per cent of the TechArt business.
I’m drawn to a flamboyantly styled 750bhp Cayenne sporting matt grey exterior offset by red highlights and blood-red interior retrim. Destined for the middle-east, the quality of the package is stunning, with a fit and finish exceeding the donor car.
With a staff of 15 to work the busy service area, and cars in for anything from a straightforward oil service through to the full works conversion, it’s clear that this is the heartbeat of the company.
The final part of the business – and perhaps of most interest to the driver – is where your Porsche is made faster and louder, with improved handling. TechArt do a strong trade in aftermarket dynamic parts, with full suspension, brake and exhaust packages developed in combination with the best in the business.
Whilst the power gains from modern n/a engines are moderate (indeed, no package is offered for current models), the Turbo models are more giving, with Cayenne’s gaining 160bhp and 997 Turbo up +200bhp.
And with every package thoroughly tested and certified via the notoriously difficult German TUV process, you can be sure of the longevity. TechArt stake their reputation on it.
It seems TechArt (founded 27 years ago) is going from strength to strength in a difficult climate. With a sound business built on an enviable reputation, and steady expansion into global markets, it seems TechArt are going to be serving up their own special brand of Porsche tuning for a long time to come.
With their high-quality approach, we’re excited to see what they make of the new 991 generation Turbo. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long. In the meantime, the keys to that GT Street RS would keep us happy.
|Thomas Behringer und Matthias Krauss
|Most famous project:
|TechArt GT Street (based on 996 GT2) and TechArt Magnum.
|Most popular 911 for TechArt parts:
|997, especially Turbo.
|Most exotic TechArt upgrade/part:
|TechArt GT Street RS, based on 997 GT2 RS.
|Most expensive TechArt upgrade:
|GrandGT for Panamera, Magnum for Cayenne & GT Street for 911 Turbo all easily exceed £200,000 depending on exact specification.
|+49 (0)7152 93390