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For high-flying billionaires, Embraer has a jet to match your Porsche
[FRANKFURT] These days, special-branded wristwatches and attaché cases that match your luxury sports car are so ubiquitous they're downright common. Any quick Google search returns dozens of such pairings. It's rather less common to match your airplane to your car. But like US$46,000 branded picnic baskets, there's apparently an appetite for such a thing: Embraer is working with Porsche to create 10 pairs of matching Embraer Phenom 300E aircraft and Porsche 911 Turbo S cars. Each set, or "Duet," starts just below US$11 million and will take more than a year to complete. It's all about a "seamless transition" of road to sky, says Boris Apenbrink, the director of Porsche's internal Exclusive Manufaktur department, during a video call about the collaboration. "The jet is meant to be piloted by the owner himself, and we also wanted the car that was the most fun to drive itself." "This is about making dreams come true for our customers," he continues. And yes, it's a bit of stunt marketing in the process.
Branding for Billionaires Branding exercises among luxury companies are nothing new. Automakers have long partnered with upscale companies-yacht brands, mechanical watchmakers, upscale speaker companies-to share design knowledge and extend their technical and market reach, even if the announced products never reach production.
Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Mercedes-Benz have been especially active in the marine segment, creating high-speed cigarette boats, luxury yachts, and even submarines for decades. It's rarer for an automaker to go the friendly skies route-a project that has been in the works for four years, according to Jay Beever, the vice president of interior design for Embraer.
The German carmaker was a natural partner for the São Paulo-based company to choose, he says, considering its longstanding connection to aviation. Ferdinand Porsche himself was making aircraft engines as early as 1908, Mr Beever says, and "the Type 64 was also inspired by aerospace," he continues, referring to the infamous, spaceship-looking vehicle created in 1939.
This is the first time the two companies have completed a project together, though representatives from both sides declined to say it would be the last. "Getting involved in airplane or cockpit design, that would maybe be a next step toward the future," Mr Apenbrink says. All in the Details The collaboration does not extend to any shared mechanics or engineering that link the 640-hp sports car and the Phenom 300E jet, which can cruise up to mach 0.8 with a 2,010 nm range. Instead, it's a cosmetic duet.
There's a matching gloss and satin-gloss combination of paintwork unique to the collaboration, with upper parts of each conveyance painted a Platinum Silver Metallic that transitions to Jet Grey Metallic at the bottom; a trim line in Brilliant Chrome and Speed Blue divides the two tones. The car's air intakes are also painted in Brilliant Chrome to match the leading edge nacelles of the plane.
Seats in each vehicle feature red pull straps with a Speed Blue accent stitch and carbon-fiber trim, while the steering wheel design mimics the aircraft's yoke. And in a nod to the interior of the plane, the 911 will have the only chalk-colored Alcantara roof lining available from Porsche; most linings inside modern Porsches are black. Elsewhere, the door sill trims have "No Step" lettering that matches the same text on an aircraft wing, and the LED door projectors illuminate the "Duet" logo on the ground, which each customer has the option to customise in order to mark each conveyance as their own. The aircraft registration number appears on both the car's rear wing and key. These are the tiniest of details, sure, but it's the same status branding behind paint jobs that create 13 per cent price bumps on US$373,000 Rolls-Royces. In elite circles, these can make for a good investment in the long run.
A private jet sounds much better than wristwatch and luggage pairings, although each Duet comes with those, too. Deliveries begin in late 2021.