No this isn’t April 1, and, yes, this is definitely a Porsche people mover.
The Renndienst — literally “racing service” — is named after for a Volkswagen service van that used to work with Porsche’s racing team.
It is one of 15 previously unseen Porsche design studies made between 2005 and 2019, and revealed in the book Porsche Unseen, which went into publication at the end of December 2020.
Initially revealed last November, the company has provided more details about its unusual all-electric people mover.
According to design boss Michael Mauer, the Renndienst concept imagines how to give a “distinctly Porsche flair to a passenger compartment” of an autonomous vehicle.
Mauer says the central driving position allows the Renndienst to have “more cockpit feeling than in any other car”.
The moment the driver sets the car into auto-driving mode, “the driver’s seat can be rotated 180 degrees – with one swivel, it turns to face the other passengers”.
Ahead of the driver is a traditional steering wheel with a digital instrumentation screen featuring five round instruments. The dashboard features buttons with haptic feedback, and two screens that can be folded away.
With its unusual 1-2-3 layout, the Renndienst can fit up to six people across three rows. There are race-style bucket seats in the first two rows, and a wraparound bench for the third.
The Porsche people mover has sliding front and rear doors, and an asymmetric window layout. On one side of the car there’s a large bank of windows, while the other features a privacy screen.
Will Porsche ever make a people mover? Probably not in the near future, but 30 years ago a Porsche SUV seemed to be as grounded in reality as Santa Claus.