As a tribute to the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours race, Porsche France, in close collaboration with Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, presented the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition at the 2023 edition of L Mans classic. This authentic limited series will be produced in a limited edition of 72 cars for the French market.
On June 28 2023, Porsche France presented the Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition, a special edition of the legendary 911. This exclusive car pays tribute to the Centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours and celebrates the history of Porsche on the legendary Sarthe circuit. Reserved exclusively for the French market and limited to 72 examples, the 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition is inspired by two icons: the Porsche 356 Gmund SL and the Porsche 911 GT1. “We are very proud to present this model, which is 100% dedicated to the French market. The 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition is the result of the expertise and passion shared by our teams at Porsche France and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur,” explains Marc Meurer, President of Porsche France.
Unique design elements for a special anniversary
Grant Larsson (designer of the first Boxster), as Director of Special Projects in the Porsche Style Department, personally led the project in collaboration with the product team from Porsche France and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest. Since 2020, it has been designed for a special occasion: the Centenary of the Le Mans 24 Hours, and pays tribute to it through unique design elements. 25 elements have been developed and homologated specifically for this 911. On the outside, there is a hand-milled badge on the rear grille and a badge featuring the blue, white and red circuit layout produced in 3D. The interior also features specific elements paying tribute to the double clock tower, such as the circuit layout embossed on the central armrest, the 24 Hours of Le Mans logo on the headrests and the door sills with the model’s monogram. “The history of the Le Mans 24 Hours is closely linked to that of Porsche. A prestigious brand, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. This limited series, dedicated exclusively to France, is a superb tribute to the world’s greatest endurance race. Thank you to Porsche for continuing to inspire all car enthusiasts and for its commitment to endurance racing. Pierre Fillon, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest.
A project that is part of Porsche’s history in the Le Mans 24 Hours
The first Porsche to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours, and winner of its class on 23 June 1951, the Porsche 356 SL is one of the cars that inspired this 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition. It marked the start of Porsche’s glorious 72-year uninterrupted history at Le Mans. This inspirational car is reflected in the colour contrast between the Le Mans Silver exterior and the Graphite Blue interior, the exterior number 46 (the number it wore when it won in 1951) and the interior trim of the 2023 model. The Aurum wheels, side quarter panels and red belts are inspired by the 911 GT1 that won the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours with two French drivers at the wheel. An iconic 911 racing car that is still remembered today.
With this special edition, Porsche France has drawn its inspiration from some of the most authentic details. The original chassis of the 356 SL, which was sent to the USA in 1951 after the race, was found by the Porsche Museum teams and used to develop the 911 Le Mans Centenary Edition. The exterior colour, Le Mans Silver, is one example. This new colour was devised by the Porsche colour studio with the help of the owner of the 1951 356 SL and the famous Californian specialist, Rod Emory, who had restored the car over a period of 4 years. The original colour of the 356 SL has been modernised to create a unique grey that pays homage to motorsport in the 1950s. Together with the 1998 911 GT1, they took to the track of the Le Mans 24 Hours for an exceptional photo shoot.
A unique 911 Carrera GTS
The 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition incorporates around thirty standard options that enhance its unique character. These include Sport Design side skirts painted in Black (satin finish), Graphite Blue leather door sill panels and tinted PDLS Plus headlamps. There are also options adapted specifically for this model, such as the GT-sport steering wheel in Graphite Blue leather with decorative Craie stitching and 12 o’clock marking in the same colour, or the velour on the centre sections of the integral bucket seats. This 911 Le Mans Centenary Edition is based on the 911 Carrera GTS, offering agile propulsion thanks to its 480 bhp engine and the chassis, brakes and suspension specific to GTS models. This unique model is available with a choice of 7-speed manual or 8-speed PDK gearboxes. In addition to this exclusive standard equipment, each customer will receive a special key case, a special interior cover and a personalised book with photos of their vehicle at the Zuffenhausen factory and in the Exclusive Manufaktur workshops.
Porsche and Le Mans
This collaboration is no coincidence. The 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition embodies the unbreakable bond between Porsche and the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours race: united by competition since 1951. That’s 72 years of continuous Porsche presence at Le Mans for 72 examples produced in this limited series. Coincidentally, 72 also represents the Sarthe department. Porsche’s involvement in the Le Mans 24 Hours has been a success story, with no fewer than 14 records since 1951, 19 overall wins and 110 class victories. Since those first victories, competition has been an integral part of the brand’s DNA and a veritable technological laboratory. Porsche tested and developed numerous innovations on the Sarthe circuit before using them on its road cars.
The 911 Carrera GTS Le Mans Centenaire Edition was revealed today at the 2023 Le Mans Classic. Limited to 72 examples, the car was exclusively available through French Porsche Centres at a price ofof €237,819 including VAT. For the enthusiasts, a sales representative told us at Le Mans Classic that all 72 cars had been sold the night of the presentation.
Translated Porsche France press release.
Pictures courtesy Porsche France and Tim Havermans