By Otsile Kadiege
Porsche and TAG Heuer have been partners for many years, dating back to a long-term partnership in motorsports, followed by several collaborative watch launches and now resulting in the development of an exclusive car project. The ‘TAG Heuer x Porsche – Legends of Panamericana’ Sonderwunsch project was inspired by the 550 Coupé in which two customer teams raced in the Carrera Panamericana in 1953. It is based on the 718 Cayman GT4 RS and will debut this weekend at Rennsport Reunion 7, where it goes on display in the ‘TAG Heuer Heritage Experience’ exhibition.
Patrick Dempsey, racing driver, US actor and brand ambassador for TAG Heuer as well as Porsche Design, will not only be in attendance for the premiere at Rennsport Reunion 7; in the middle of October, he will be driving this new sports car in the first and second stages of this year’s Carrera Panamericana. The second car, with racing number 152, will also be presented there. This 718 Cayman GT4 RS, which differs only slightly from the first car, is to be auctioned in early 2024 for a good cause.
Carrera Panamericana design elements
A number of design elements of the Sonderwunsch project reference the long-term connection that the two companies have to the Carrera Panamericana race. Racing numbers 152 and 154 respectively are painted onto the doors and roofs of the cars. Photos of the Porsche 550 Coupé that competed in the legendary race provided designer Grant Larson from Style Porsche with a template for designing the racing numbers. They are recessed in negative lettering and bordered by a yellow racing number substrate.
The two cars are painted in Le Mans Silver Metallic which was created in a successful collaboration between Porsche France, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and the experts at Porsche AG. Many of the other exterior components are in the same colour, including the window angles, the panels of the various air intakes at the front and the sides, as well as all the carbon-weave finish parts.
In the middle of the bonnet and on the side blades of the rear wing, the Sonderwunsch models bear the TAG Heuer logo in a slightly darker grey. This figurative word mark can also be seen through the rear window on the air filter box of the mid-engine, as well as on the wheel hub covers of the central lock rims. A Pegasus motif on the front-left wing (racing number 152) and alternatively on the rear-left wheel arch (racing number 154) reminds us that the 550 Spyder that Porsche entered in the Carrera Panamericana was one of the first racing cars with advertising from sponsors. The winged horse used to be part of the Mobil Oil logo. Porsche Tequipment is now recreating an original version of this Pegasus as a sticker for all Porsche customers.
Mexican flag stitching
In the interior, the Guards Red leather of the seats contrasts with the black of the dashboard and the door panel trim. The on-board interior package has an aluminium black anodised finish. The spokes of the steering wheel are also black. One brilliant detail is the tricoloured cross-stitching in the colours of the Mexican flag and the TAG Heuer logo. This green, white and red stitching can be seen, for example, on the steering wheel rim and the dashboard. The ‘GT4 RS Panamericana Special’ lettering is milled into the door entry guards and has been printed on the cup-holder panel on the passenger side. The experts at Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur stitched two important elements of the Carrera Panamericana logo into the headrests of the seats: the lettering and the stylised racing driver cap. The latter also appears on the valve caps. A TAG Heuer logo is embossed on the armrest between the driver and the passenger.
A special feature of the car with racing number 154 is the TAG Heuer stopwatch module in the centre console. This component was designed and made by TAG Heuer especially for the project and is not available to buy. The left clock that displays the time has the typical Heuer Carrera Design combining elegance and performance. Line indices for the hours appear in relief of the black dial, while the minutes are indicated outside on the bezel. This mechanical three-hand clock has a power reserve of eight days. Next to the clock is a stopwatch with a scale that helps the driver to maintain the average speed often prescribed for rallies.
Leave a comment