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Porsche’s Most Exclusive Model Will Set You Back $2.9 Million

Road & Track logo Road & Track 6/25/2022 Marshall Pruett
Porsche's latest Le Mans challenger has already been sold to a few customers, but don't expect road car pricing. © Porsche Porsche's latest Le Mans challenger has already been sold to a few customers, but don't expect road car pricing.

Porsche’s first customer prototype in more than a decade comes with a $2.9 million price tag, making the 963 the most expensive model offered by the German auto manufacturer.

Built by Canadian racecar constructor Multimatic, the LMP2-derived 963 chassis could become one of Porsche’s lower-volume productions. Outside of the two factory Porsche Penske Motorsport entries coming to IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTP class, plus the other two PPM entries for the FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar category, and any spare cars they maintain as the program launches in 2023, a limited number of sales are expected to be made to independent teams.

Minnesota’s JDC-Miller Motorsports, which was confirmed as the first customer team to purchase a 963, will be joined by a few more privateers across IMSA and the WEC, but only a select few who’ve demonstrated quality and competitiveness in either series.

Despite the high dollar amount when compared to the brand’s costliest road cars, the price for the turnkey twin-turbo V8-powered hybrid Porsche is remarkably low for a purebred machine designed to race for overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The new 963 eclipses the 2007-2008 Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 chassis, which sold for $1.5 million at the time. In 2022 dollars, the all-conquering RS Spyder—also built in limited numbers--would cost $2.1 million. Like the 963, the last customer prototype from Porsche was campaigned by the factory with Roger Penske and through its domestic and international lifespan, RS Spyders were fielded by six privateer teams.

Buying the 963’s lineal ancestor, the 962 IMSA GTP model that debuted in 1984, came with a price tag of $250,000. Adjusted for inflation, the 962 would cost just over $700,000 today and among the finer examples, vintage 962s can fetch more than $2 million at auction. It also trounces the asking price for Porsche's most recent road-going hypercar: Even with some very expensive options, the 918 Spyder still came in at around $1 million.

At $2.9 million, the 680 hp 963 isn’t an all-inclusive sum; spare engines, transmissions, extra bodywork and all of the consumables required to run and maintain the car during a season of endurance racing cost extra, but the purchase does come with unwavering technical support from Porsche Motorsport.

“We sell it for $2.9 million, but that's the overall amount,” Porsche Motorsports North America president and CEO Volker Holzmeyer told Road & Track. “And as long as the customer is running, our services are always available, we will have spare parts on site, an engineering truck on site, 5, 6, 7 engineers, and we will figure out now with teams what is what they think it is needed. But that service is always there. And it's always for free.

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“It’s the way Porsche approaches it because it's the way that we can guarantee the highest level of quality. If we offer something and somebody has to pay for it, you always could say no, [so this way] we can make sure that we always deliver the highest quality and make sure it's the best result achievable.”

Separate from the purchase price of the Porsche 963, teams like JDC-Miller Motorsports also need to fund a full season of racing, which starts in January at the Rolex 24 At Daytona and runs across 10 weekends until the championship finale in late September or early October at the 10-hour Petit Le Mans race in Road Atlanta.

With the current DPi formula being used by IMSA, independent teams are known to spend somewhere in the $3.5-$4.5 million range with a Cadillac DPi-V.R.

Factoring in the first-time use of mandatory energy recovery systems in IMSA with the 963 and all the other new models coming from Acura, BMW, and Cadillac, which comes with a somewhat steep lease price for the ERS units and technical support, plus the likely hiring and salaries for extra support engineers to maintain and tune the high-tech hybrid prototypes, annual budgets could rise by upwards of $1 million, according to the estimates provided within the paddock.

Among the greatest benefits of buying a 963 is the direct link to the Porsche factory and the coveted engineering information that will be provided leading into each race. With a strong direction on the optimal chassis setup choices for its customers to use, teams like JDC-Miller should never be too far from the PPM factory entries on the time sheets. Whether the PPM team chooses to share what it learns with Porsche’s customers once the race weekend gets under way is another matter.

“From Porsche’s point of view, we will provide the same data to Penske as we will JDC-Miller; Porsche will provide information for everybody equally,” Holzmeyer added. “And then there will be a limited, let's say performance-related, ‘how to operate the car or to set it up’ [information exchange].

“Now, that makes for differentiation. Then it's up to Penske, what they share and what they don't share. Because in the end, everybody's racing against each other. But we, as manufacturer, want to make sure that we are on top of the grid. And then if we are in position 1-2-3, the teams can fight it out.”

Altogether, the old adage of, ‘Speed costs; how fast do you want to go?’ is alive and well. But with the forever-thriving market for exclusive Porsches in mind, a $2.9 million investment today should be rewarded in the future when the first 963s go under the gavel.

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