Hosted by Porsche Japan, the Porsche Festival drew crowds of more than 3,000 owners and fans to the Porsche Experience Center Tokyo, in Chiba Prefecture, along with more than 600 cars from across the years.
The festival marked the debut of two previously unseen models in Japan. The new 911 Dakar and Cayenne were revealed along with a stunning film, specially commissioned to mark the occasion. Produced by the team behind the long-running television series, Car Graphic TV, it featured a soundtrack created by music producer Masataka Matsutoya and was narrated by the actor Toru Furuya.
The two new models weren’t the only cars turning heads at the festival, which was themed ‘House of Porsche’. The latest work from artist Daniel Arsham, entitled RWBA, also made its world premiere at the weekend. Known for projects such as the ‘356 Bonsai’, where he altered the design of his own 1955 356 Speedster to reflect the Japanese spirit of wabisabi, Arsham collaborated on the new project with the Japanese Porsche tuner RAUH-Welt BEGRIFF (RWB). The RWBA is based on a 964-generation Porsche 911, with a flat-nose, all-white exterior and full Arsham Green leather interior.
Arsham is well-versed in Japanese automotive culture, and takes inspiration from Japanese street culture, including manga such as Wangan Midnight and My Favorite Carrera. The creator of My Favorite Carrera, Kia Asamiya, is himself a huge fan of Arsham’s works, and a four-panel comic made by Asamiya, about the RWBA, was on display for the day alongside a wrapped vehicle with a motif featuring the three main characters from My Favorite Carrera.
Among the other highlights was a surprise appearance by Jacky Ickx, the legendary Formula One driver and Paris-Dakar winner who, in 1982, drove a Group C Porsche 956 to his sixth Le Mans victory. Before signing the bonnet of a 911 Dakar, Ickx recalled some of the highlights of his career in front of the thrilled crowd.
When off-roading in these conditions, a Porsche is the only option
“The Paris-Dakar Rally is the hardest race found on this planet we call Earth,” he said. “It involves driving for three weeks from Paris to Dakar, on the African continent, through the Sahara Desert. The route is approximately 14,000 kilometres long. It goes through mountains and deserts, with top off-road speeds reaching 200 km/h. When off-roading in these conditions, a Porsche is the only option. No other sportscar truly compares. Porsche has won Le Mans 19 times, as well as winning two of its three entries in the Paris-Dakar. That top performance isn’t unique to just its racing cars. It is shared by the models owned by everyone here today.”
Member of the Executive Board in charge of Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG, Detlev von Platen, also travelled to the festival from Stuttgart, telling those in attendance “I promise you, you’re going to need to build bigger garages, because we hope to keep launching many more irresistible models. We will also actively pursue electrification.”
The latest in a series of ‘Porsche Garage’ meet-ups also took place over the weekend, with owners coming together from across Japan to show off their cars and go head-to-head for a number of prizes voted for by the crowd. Among the 10 winners was the owner of a 997-generation GT3 RS, who drove for 16 hours to attend after heavy rain, caused by the remnants of former typhoon Mawar, led to road closures.
Nurture the history and tradition of Porsche Japan
Porsche Japan President and CEO Philipp von Witzendorff told festival-goers that his first year in the post shown him “how truly passionate Porsche fans, and of course owners, are here”.
“There are many truly impressive classic cars in Japan. It is one of the defining features of the Japanese market,” he said. “The Porsche brand has a long history here and I am looking forward to more activities in the future that will nurture the history and tradition of Porsche Japan.”