For decades Porsche’s most famous racing cars would often be seen accompanied by Volkswagen support vehicles. These Renndienst, or “racing service” vans and trucks were built from T1 and T2 transporters, known as “Bulli” in German or “buses” in English. To celebrate Porsche’s 75th anniversary, Porsche Netherland has recreated the Renndienst Bulli with a fleet of eight ID. Buzz electric vans.
Finished in an instantly recognizable Burgundy red, the original Renndienst Bulli toiled in the background to make the successes of the Porsche 904, 908, 910 and 917 possible. After making their debut a the 1954 Mille Miglia, they followed Porsche teams all over Europe as they raced in the Marathon de la Route, Targa Florio and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They carried tools, parts and sometimes served as impromptu sleeping quarters. Sometimes they towed or carried the race cars themselves.
The modern reincarnation mimics the red with white lettering paint scheme of the originals, built on the ID. Buzz 1st Max. Each uses a 204-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels and a 77 kWh battery pack. Unfortunately, they won’t be seen at race tracks. Each of the eight ID. Buzzes will be used as shuttles and for promotional purposes at Porsche Netherland’s eight showrooms. Porsche Netherlands also created at least one Taycan Sport Turismo in matching livery, though the company didn’t specifically mention what it would be used for.
Back in 2020 Porsche revealed its own take on the Renndienst Bulli with a six-seater autonomous minivan concept. Unfortunately it remains purely a design study to explore “how the Porsche design DNA with its characteristic surface modeling can be transferred to an unknown vehicle segment.” The company has shot down any hope of seeing a Porsche-branded van.
For now, the ID. Buzz versions will have to do. While it’s just a simple paint job, it’s still a clever reminder of Porsche’s racing history and how the VW bus played a role in its many successes.