The first Porsche treatment was put together using a 1988 928 S4 with a set of custom BBS wheels, a rear spoiler, and a performance exhaust system. Then quickly came a similar aesthetic upgrade package for the 944 Turbo. Porsche was beginning to take notice of the small firm's handiwork and, as Behringer puts it: "Honestly, both Matthias and I only really wanted to work on Porsche. It was a boy's dream maybe."
In 1989 came the big deal. The 964 Carrera 4 was a very narrow car and TechArt wanted to lend it some presence. They gave one a wide body treatment with seamlessly crafted steel fender flares at all corners, and the package sold more than 400 units. Such successes carried on until a financially bottomed-out Porsche approached TechArt in 1993 to help create a formal aftermarket accessory program. Thus began the initial Tequipment effort from Porsche, all of it executed to spec by TechArt.
Then times got really bad for Porsche in '94 and '95. "We returned in a big way to our interior expertise," Behringer says. Remember the dawn of cell phone consoles in premium cars for guys who thought they were Joey on Friends? You can thank these awful early in-car solutions for supplementing TechArt's bank account while Porsche tried to get its shit together. "Yes, those were everywhere here," Behringer says sheepishly.
TechArt's first year in the United States was under the old company German Tech out of Florida. Soon after that, German Tech was consolidated with the Claus Ettensberger Corporation and CEC acquired its exclusive rights to all North American distribution for the brand. Late in the 1990s things really took off, as they did also for Porsche, with the original Boxster boom and the introduction of the 996 911.
"With 40 percent of Porsche business basically still happening in North America," Behringer says, "we are more interested each year with building our business there." Unfortunately the exquisite saddlery work done on Porsche interiors at the home office in Leonberg will never be available directly in North America until CEC or someone else invests in such a possibility Stateside. It'd be worth it.
Today, 40 percent of TechArt business is in wheel sets, 40 percent in exterior aero pieces, and 20 percent in exhaust systems. "The key to the profitability of these packages," says Behringer, "is the ease of installation while maintaining the best quality." In 2007, TechArt's turnover was $22 million and for 2008 that number looks to improve to $28 million. "Globalization has been great for our business," Behringer adds. "The number one market for growth right now is Russia and the TechArt international parts distribution business is booming." --MD
TechArt GTstreet RS
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive
3.6-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve. Twin KKK-BorgWarner VTG turbochargers (23.9 psi max boost) and two large intercoolers, TechArt sport air filter, competition exhaust manifolds, modified software
10-setting adjustable Bilstein coilover dampers
Porsche PCCB assemblies
*Wheels and Tires
TechArt Formula III, 8.5x20 (f), 12x20 (r)
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup Plus, 245/30 (f), 315/25 (r)
Carbon-fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, roof spoiler, front hood, sill panels, rear wing and supports, and side "flics"
Complete leather/Alcantara upholstery, "GTstreet RS" stitching
Peak Power: 691 hp @ 7000 rpmPeak Torque: 634 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm0-62 mph: 3.4 sec.Top Speed: 217 mph*TechArt data
Claus Ettensberger Corp.