Life, for big companies, is really all about taking existing ideas and finding ways to profit off of them—whether that’s Instagram pummeling Snapchat with its own posting model, or an automaker bringing the typically post-factory idea of paint and wrap customization in house. If only the rest of us had it that easy.
That’s exactly what Porsche’s doing, the company announced on Wednesday—creating a “central port” for a “fragmented market” that will just so happen to make the company a bunch of cash. Porsche calls its new operation Second Skin, which sounds like some bodysuit to make superheroes (or villains) even more invincible while the rest of us remain fragile sacks of bones, but is really just a way to give a car a different look for a starting price of, oh, $4,500 or so.
Here’s how the process will work, according to an auto translation of German from the Second Skin website:
Your Porsche will be picked up by us in a closed van and brought back to you after the foiling. Or you drive with your vehicle yourself to our certified expert - just as you wish.
Our experts wrap your vehicle with the utmost precision and care. We use state-of-the-art methods and processes to ensure the best possible protection for your Porsche. Naturally, the Porsche Approved Guarantee is retained.
Prices in the Second Skin configurator and press release are only listed in euros, so Jalopnik has asked whether it’s limited to certain markets and if it’ll come to the United States. We’ll update this story if we hear back.
What Porsche did say is Second Skin will have famous racing liveries, “fashion” and “arts” designs, and solid colors for people sick of their bright-blue 911 GT2 RS in the garage, as one gets. But it isn’t just for marked-up Porsche wraps—the release said “vehicles by other automotive brands” can also be customized, and we have, of course, asked if that includes your rusty Craigslist beater.
The only models currently in the configurator are the 991.2 and 992 Porsche 911s, along with the 982-generation 718 Cayman and Boxster, and each have only a few design choices. But the configurator options aren’t officially available until July, and it sounds like Porsche’s plan is to add to them over time.
Until then, though, maybe keep giving the local vinyl shop your business. It was their thing first, you know.
Update: Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 11:06 a.m. ET: A Porsche representative got back to Jalopnik about availability, and said the Second Skin online platform is available everywhere, but that the physical wrapping will start in Germany. In terms of car templates, well, the offerings will depend on what people ask for.
“The point is that at the start of this service there is only one wrap shop based in South Germany, which is able to install the wrap designs,” the representative wrote in an email to Jalopnik. “However, depending on customer requests we evaluate to add further wrap shops to this service.
“Especially at the start our focus is strongly on Porsche models, especially with regard to the specific designs. But every customer (also other car brands) can already make use of the colour foils today. Of course, we want to expand our product portfolio as quickly as possible and will also integrate 3D models (with designs) of other car brands like a Honda Civic. To this end, we are guided by our customers’ requests.”