Porsche 997 leather options

I’ve covered interior colors in another post, this post covers the various optional leather packages. The information given here is based on a German Carrera price list for the 2006 model year.

Standard leather

All 997s came with partial leather consisting of the front seats, steering wheel rim, door handle, door armrest/storage compartment lid, center console storage compartment lid, and shift knob – essentially all surfaces that one would touch regularly, except for those in aluminum look like the door openers. This level is easily identified by the absence of stitching on the dashboard.

Leather seats

This package added smooth leather to the front seats and converted the rear seats to leather. This could be combined with ruffled leather for the front and rear seats.

Leather package

This added leather to the A, B, and C pillar, the top of the dashboard, the top of the doors, the PCM/front center console side panels, and the rear side panels. This also included the leather seats. This is a relatively common package that makes especially the dashboard look and feel much nicer than the default plastic.

The leather package could be ordered for the default interior colors, but also with the special colors (Terracotta, Cocoa), the three bi-color options, and the natural leathers. Custom colors could be optioned, too.

This package can easily be identified by the seams and stitching on the dashboard, the panels left and right of the PCM, and the top of the door panels. Here’s an example of the dash in the case of a black leather car.

Extended dashboard trim package

This added leather to the ventilation vents, the center speaker cover, and the cupholder trim.

Other leather options

It doesn’t end here, as there were several other options for covering additional small parts in leather:

  • Instrument surround
  • Steering column casing
  • Door opener surrounds
  • Seat backs (sports seats only)
  • Telephone handset
  • Center console (Porsche calls this the rear center console)
  • Headliner (standard is Alcantara)
  • Sun visors
  • Interior light surround
  • Inner door sill covers

It was also possible to choose between grained and smooth leather for the steering wheel.

This car has the leather seat backs and the leather center console, with embossing on the storage compartment lid. Note how some parts are still in Vulcan Grey.

I think that it is exceptionally rare to see a car that has all leather options. As mentioned above the leather package (sometimes referred to as “full leather” even though there are many more leather options) is pretty common and I would almost consider it a must. Among the other options, I think that the options that add leather to the back of the sears, the door opener surrounds and the center console are nice as these are areas that are prone to scratching, but these are pretty rare. The center console leather also competed with other options, i.e. painted in exterior color or wood, carbon, or aluminum look.

If you want to add leather options to your car, there are essentially three ways to do this:

  1. Find used parts in good condition and the right color and install them. These would usually come from someone who has made changes to his interior or a crashed car. This is not easy, especially for rarely optioned items in uncommon colors.
  2. Buy the parts from Porsche, if available. I believe that the parts catalog lists pretty much all options for each piece, including the leather options. I’m not sure if everything is still available from Porsche, but other specialized dealers might still have parts in stock as well. Be prepared for a bit of sticker shock, though. As an example, the door opener surrounds are approx. €100 a piece in painted form, but almost €400 for the leather-covered version.
  3. Have your existing parts (or new standard parts) covered by an upholsterer. There are some that are specialized in this (like Exclusive Option in the US), but any car upholsterer should be able to do this and be able to achieve an OEM look.

There are of course limits to what is possible. Exchanging the entire dashboard is a major undertaking. The seats would also be an expensive job, as these need to be disassembled, which includes dealing with the airbags. So if you’re currently looking for a car and are dead-set on certain leather options, it’s a trade-off between looking longer for the right car, or possibly spending a bit more to get a car upgraded to your dream spec.

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