Porsche 968 L'ART: Celebrating an Automotive Icon Couldn't Get More Fashionable Than This

Porsche 968 L'ART 17 photos
Photo: Porsche AG
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A beautiful car can be such a great motivator for a young enthusiast's mind. Not few are the stories of successful people who got their goal-achieving incentive from aspiring at that supercar that went by them on their way from school, for example. Brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Porsche are all-time favorites because of their strong heritage and inspiring stories.
The latter played a significant part in the two-seater sports car segment, especially praised for their brilliant four- and six-cylinder powerplants. As Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche once famously said: "I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself," meaning that finding the right inspiration can plant in one's mind the seeds for embarking in world-changing endeavors.

The Porsche 968 - the last coupe starring a front-engine

Indeed, Porsche mainly gained such a reputation from its rear-engined sports coupes, such as the 911. But, we should not forget that besides those models, there were lots of other two-seater rear-wheel-drive performance machines flaunting a front-engine.

Regardless of what some enthusiasts may say, Porsche did not forget about them. Earlier in September, they proudly showcased a collaboration between them and a Parisian fashion label that commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Porsche 968 Coupe. It was the last new front-engined two-seater vehicle ever produced and the last to feature a four-cylinder powerplant until recent times. It had a production that ran from 1991 to 1995, offered in both coupe or cabriolet body styles.

Porsche 968 L'ART
Photo: Porsche AG

Who are L'Art De L'Automobile and Arthur Kar?

L'Art De L'Automobile is a French label founded by Arthur Kar, a design visionary with a life-long passion for Porsches. Arthur's journey began in Lebanon when he started working as a mechanic at a garage run by his father. Later on, at age 16, he and his family moved to Paris. There, Arthur was fortunate enough to get a job at a Porsche Center workshop. He happily remembers how impressed he was with the engineering of Porsche vehicles, in the sense that everything was well thought off, in remarkable contrast with the Italian performance cars that used to visit his father's garage.

He worked hard and always fantasized about the day he would drive a propper Porsche. While working as a mechanic, he started doing jobs for people who were car dealers and began practicing the art of selling vehicles which, at the time, felt like bringing him closer to his goals. Putting aside the extra money from selling cars, Arthur finally got the chance to buy a used Porsche 996 Turbo, and later even a Carrera GT.

In 2011 he started his brand, L'Art De L'Automobile, an exquisite car dealership, and vehicle-related service center. After being in the industry for many years and interacting with many passionate customers, Arthur had a revelation. He realized that, although the car industry represents such a vast field, for an enthusiast like himself and his customers, there are very few options regarding automotive-related clothing. As a result, in 2017, he designed the 'Kar" logo and started imprinting it on T-shirts for the company staff. Customers seemed very interested too, and they started selling clothing on the dealership's website.

Porsche 968 L'ART
Photo: Porsche AG

Reimagining the retro era with a modern twist

Fast forward to today, L'Art De L'Automobile got the opportunity to work alongside Porsche for the 30th anniversary of the 968, in the effort of embodying the connection between vehicles and fashion. An outstanding result of an 18-month joint venture, this unique project was presented to the public at the 2021 Paris Fashion Week. Their collaboration resulted in the one-off 968 Porsche L’ART, a machine that reimagines the retro era taking inspiration from modern times.

The Porsche 968 L'ART got its roof removed and now features a speedster-like silhouette, finished in a unique shade of green, specially created for this project. The overall design looks very contemporary as if it were first envisioned today. It has a low and wide stance and wonderfully integrates modern Porsche design cues, taking advantage of sweeping lines and modern lighting technologies.

The front of the vehicle has been totally reworked. The headlight design is what first strikes the eye. Surprisingly, they are now horizontal and feature LED technology, being moved lower towards the front bumper. Two smooth round indents now sit in the place of the pop-up mechanism hinting at their original location. The L'Art De L'Automobile and Porsche brandings beautifully finish the clean but empowering front fascia, only to be further complemented by the aggressively sloped windscreen and period-correct black Porsche wheels. Additionally, those can be fitted with a pair of covers starring a smooth surface mainline, as seen on other areas of the vehicle.

From the side, one gets a charming view of the masterly executed fender flairs and blade-style mirrors. The rear of the vehicle follows the same soft-edged perspective, the emphasis being put on the taillights. By incorporating red lighting and "Kar" lettering in the taillight design, they recreated the fashion label logo that gets imprinted on their sunglasses and other select apparel.

Porsche 968 L'ART
Photo: Porsche AG
The interior appearance follows suit and continues the modern take on retro theme of the vehicle, emphasizing a minimalist layout and exquisite craftsmanship. Porsche partnered up with Recaro for the bespoke bucket seats wrapped in fine EL3 leather supplied by ECCO, with Bose for a custom-made audio system that seamlessly integrates with the vehicle's interior, and, not least, with lead watchmaker Tag Heuer which provided the dash-mounted clocks.

A story deeper than fashion and cars

At the Paris Fashion Week event, alongside the unveiling of this unique Porsche 968, L'Art De L'Automobile and Kar presented their collaboration with the German manufacturer showcasing their apparel collection, launching two different capsule fashion collections. Highlights include long- short-sleeved shirts, T-shirts, caps incorporating design cues from both brands, with the crown jewel of the collection being the 1990's Formula One uniform-inspired green jacket.

This collaboration unfolded in a beautiful story that goes even deeper than just a one-off concept car or some exclusive attire collection. The L'Art De L'Automobile X Porsche project brings to the surface what their brands cherish the most: an avid passion that never dies and enables aspiring minds to start from nothing, focus on their future and reach unimaginable heights.

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About the author: Dan Marinescu
Dan Marinescu profile photo

Since his early childhood, Dan developed an avid passion for cars and, now he sees himself as a genuine petrolhead. His enthusiasm comes from his father, an automotive engineer. They love to reminisce about the days when his dad showed him the inner workings of an engine and why everything does what it does.
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