Porsche tuners don’t think the 911 and its siblings are slow or ugly. Their work makes them different, rather than “better”. And each tuner has found a beautiful way of its own
Videogames like Forza Horizon and Need for Speed allow you to buy cars in stock condition and use the best of your creativity (and in-game money) to improve them while you make progress in the story.
I love those games for their variety of cars and tuning parts and their attention to detail. However, I have to show one point with which I disagree: the faster the car you get, the fewer tuning options it offers.
In short, the rationale is that supercars are so great that there is little to no room for improvement. While I can see their point, I disagree because tuning is not simply about improving the car’s performance.
Are you wondering why I brought up this topic? Well, Porsche cars usually belong to that “perfect” group of cars. And yet, I am going to show you companies that make them even better through tuning.
Founded by Bruce Canepa, this company is more than a Porsche tuner. It buys classic cars and thoroughly inspect them for resale, it tunes cars for personal use and for racing, and even keeps a small museum.
When it comes to Porsche cars, it is famous for its commitment to the original design. Canepa has worked with several generations of the 911 and even with the 959 homologation special, always with brilliant results.
- Canepa’s company works with cars of several brands besides Porsche, especially vintage ones.
- The Motorsports Museum displays racing cars from NASCAR, Le Mans and many other races.
While this German tuner has worked with cars of multiple other companies, we can find some of its best work wearing Porsche’s badge. Gemballa has tuned several iterations of the 911 and even the Carrera GT.
This Porsche tuner also stands out for the fact that it goes beyond performance upgrades. As the pictures anticipate, it also offers visual changes – more often than not, they turn out to be complex and extensive.
- Gemballa’s first projects date back to the 1980s and include a shortened Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC.
- More recently, the tuner dared to replace side mirrors with cameras before any mass manufacturer.
You know how German automakers are usually conservative in terms of design changes? Well, Hamann is an interesting way to go against that. This tuner works with several brands and has a penchant for SUVs.
As the pictures show, Hamann focuses on design and gets a little too creative at it. It may be actually hard to like its cars, but no one can say they are boring. Its engine upgrades usually bring around 60 extra hp.
- Founded in the USA, Hamann converts everyday Porsche cars using unique visual customizations.
- When it comes to Porsche tuning, the company has modified 911, Cayenne, Macan and Panamera.
This Porsche tuner follows the same direction as Singer, which you are going to see below, but applies a milder approach. It focuses on visual changes rather than performing extreme performance upgrades.
In terms of design, you can expect aerodynamic upgrades, flashy colors, and performance wheels. Then again, nothing is truly impactful. Kaege is a run-of-the-mill tuner that happens to work on Porsche cars.
- Kaege’s most famous work is the Retro line, cases of restomod done on classic 911 models.
- This Porsche tuner works on modern models as well, performing race-themed modifications.
Many car fans believe that the best way to use a supercar is to actually drive them at a track, rather than keeping them untouched in fancy garages. Magnus Walker and his team certainly share that opinion.
The entrepreneur started in the field of fashion, then eventually changed paths to customizing cars. His tuning work is famous for the extravagant design identities that draw the hate of conservative owners.
- Based in the city of Los Angeles, Magnus Walker is famous for his phrase: “Get out and drive!”
- This Porsche tuner has executed modifications with race themes and even plaid seat covers.
You know how Alpina has become an independent brand despite working exclusively with BMW models? That’s pretty much what happens here: RUF sources Porsche cars from the factory and gives its own VINs.
This Porsche tuner focuses on performance. It reworks many components to maximize the overall output. The visual tweaks are centered on bright external colors, like wild animals that show they are poisonous.
- RUF started as a service garage in Germany in 1939. It would only turn to Porsche tuning in 1974.
- One of the most famous Ruf cars is the CTR Yellowbird, which has a twin-turbo 3.4L boxer engine.
Do not mistake this one for the acronym of rear-wheel drive. Rauh-Welt Begriff turns out to be a Japanese Porsche tuner established by Akira Nakai. It specializes at classic 911 models that use air-cooled engines.
RWB’s signature upgrade is the widebody kit which includes massively flared wheel arches. It is also great to know that its projects are unique: there will never be two RWB Porsche cars with the exact same tuning.
- RWB’s founder is actively involved in his Porsche tuning: he measures the custom parts himself.
- It is said that he does everything manually. That is why two equal tuned cars just could not exist.
Singer Vehicle Design
Yes, this is the one that “reimagines” cars, which means it is not your average Porsche tuner. Founded by Rob Dickinson, it sources classic 911 itself and works on them according to a previously agreed theme.
The work itself is quite complex. Bodywork, powertrain, trim, upholstery, everything is part of that unique reimagination. And Singer does everything with a level of attention to detail that is simply fascinating.
- Each Porsche has its own exhaust note because Singer tunes their exhaust systems one by one.
- The company also uses original Getrag transmissions, which it rebuilds and tunes on its own.
This Porsche tuner has two clear divisions. One is the customization department, where you can chat with a representative to determine the theme in which you want to modify your Porsche – as long as it is a 911.
The other one is for restoration. Basically, once a classic Porsche appears, Straat will do a magnificent job at bringing it back to the condition it had decades ago. The tuner also has a stock of cars ready to sell.
- Straat Automobile works exclusively with the Porsche 911, albeit in many of its classic iterations.
- Nelson Calle, the company’s CEO, is also responsible for the final inspection of every single car.
As you can see, most Porsche tuners aim at exclusivity through complex visual changes. TechArt becomes an interesting exception to all that: its style is subtle enough to be mistaken for Porsche’s own identity.
The German tuner offers everything: complete kits, individual parts, and even a catalog of used parts. You can get them for all Porsche car models in nowadays. In other words, TechArt caters to all Porsche fans.
- That variety allows all owners to find a list of items that matches their interests and budget.
- Techart has a maintenance division as well, that provides tailored services to each of its cars.
Porsche tuners in a nutshell
|Porsche tuner||Home town||Foundation year|
|Canepa||Scotts Valley (USA)||1985|
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Danillo Almeida has explored his passion for cars in two distinct ways. The first one is his graduation course in Mechanical Engineering, which will hopefully lead to a job position in the field. The other one is expressing his knowledge and opinions on the matter through writing. Almeida has already contributed to blogs, stores, and websites in general writing automotive content in many formats.