Porsche’s Zuffenhausen factory manager, Christian Friedl was recently reported citing a figure that, on its face, seems unbelievable. But when you examine Friedl’s claim that it only produces two identical 911s per year against the number of options you select, it’s actually remarkable that any two 911s are the same.
The trick is the sheer number of 911s the company produces. A 911 can be anything from an upmarket supercar to the fastest production ever clocked around the Nurburgring depending how much you want to pay, and that means that there are 29 trim levels.
That’s a number that’s large enough that even if we only account for the 18 paint colors, 17 interior options, and the three seat options, 26,662 possible combinations—that’s according to our in-house engineering whiz, Evan Williams. I’m an English major, I would never attempt anything as dangerous as a math of this kind.
That’s an important number because it’s already larger than the number of 911s the Zuffenhausen factory produces in a year, according to Autocar, which first published Friedl’s quotation.
Granted, Porsche puts limitations on which interior colors and materials can be selected in which trims and just because a combination can be selected doesn’t mean it’s likely to be selected, but this was only ever meant to be back-of-the-napkin math. What that number really is is an illustration that there are a butt-load of possible 911s out there, so Friedl’s claim actually makes sense.
That’s not to say though that offering 29 different 911s makes sense. Trying to remember which 911 is which would require a brain the size of a planet. But it is kind of cool to think that the next 911 you see may be as unique as a snowflake.
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