Stuttgart is seeking relevance in the NFT space after a massive digital market collapse.
Beginning in January 2023, Porsche will mint a total of 7,500 NFTs based around a single white Porsche 911 (seen below). The digital Porsche art cars are made in partnership with Hamburg-based designer and 3D artist Patrick Vogel. Buyers will be able to "influence" the design of their automotive NFTs "in a collaborative and immersive journey lasting several months."
Three pre-set routes will be available as a starting point: Lifestyle, Performance, and Heritage (pictured in order below). Each does have a unique look, and Porsche says each is created in Unreal Engine 5, a new digital graphics engine used in AAA-quality video games.
These NFTs have been unveiled to coincide with Porsche's presence at Art Basel Miami, at which Porsche features a more tangible art installation built around a 911.
As for the wholly controversial reputation that NFTs have worked so hard to garner in the last few years, Porsche says it has addressed those concerns. Owners will "gain exclusive access to experiences in the virtual and real world," and Porsche has offered some clarity on its stance on NFTs as a whole.
"Innovation management at Porsche also sees potential in the purchasing experience, the metaverse, and the supply chain. Vehicle and sustainability issues are also being considered," said Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman and Member of the Executive Board for Finance and IT.
NFTs and cryptocurrency have seen a sharp decline in their value, most recently accompanied by the media storm surrounding the collapse of digital marketplace FTX. Other brands have also spoken out against the use of NFTs in the automotive space.
"We could easily take the popular NFT route and make bespoke digital artworks but will wait until there is a real, environmentally-friendly benefit to using NFTs," said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath earlier this year.
Evidently, Porsche sees a money-making opportunity with digital art. Porsche has created an intentionally scarce and exclusive market for its NFTs by limiting the 7,500 pieces to just three per buyer. The brand says that "as customers expect from Porsche, the NFT is also rare, iconic, and timeless."
However, the brand does say it has other digital projects in mind on the blockchain, rather than just monetizing digital art. Porsche states it is working to integrate blockchain tech into "existing and future processes and solutions," though it did not elaborate further.
Porsche has a rich, vibrant history of art cars, which it works to continue to this day. Often, these art cars become incredibly valuable collector's pieces. It's hard to imagine that the brand's NFT strategy will have the same staying power. Time will tell.