The original Renndienst Vans supported the Porsche factory race team.
In a fit of nostalgia, Porsche is deploying eight Volkswagen ID. Buzz models to dealerships in the Netherlands decked out in Porsche Renndienst (Race Service) livery, replete with its iconic burgundy color and white lettering as part of its 75th-anniversary celebrations. Back in the day, Porsche's factory team used Volkswagen Transporter vans for logistics, and they proved to be invaluable. They were much loved, and the Porsche team used the nickname Bulli - a portmanteau of Bus and Lieferwagen (delivery van) to refer to them.
Porsche never made a van of its own, so it used various versions from the mid-1950s and through the 1960s due to its capacity and workhorse level of reliability. What Porsche doesn't mention is that the engine was also familiar enough back then for its mechanics to fix it if it broke down.
The Porsche team's van version carried spare parts and sometimes served as sleeping quarters over long race weekends. It also served as a taxi for the drivers. For transporting cars, they used a pickup version of the Transporter.
As part of a slew of concept cars revealed in the last few years, Porsche envisioned a contemporary reimagining called Vision Renndienst, even using it for the reveal of the Porsche Vision 357 concept to celebrate its 75th anniversary. But this was never slated for production, so the ID.Buzz made the perfect platform on which to bring the Renndienst into the 21st century.
The dressed-up VW ID. Buzz resembles the moving tool shed version - complete with the Porsche logo and white lettering on the sides.
Many of the historic Renndienst buses have survived in the hands of enthusiasts and museums, but as Porsche targets 80% of its vehicles being electric by 2030, the ID.Buzz represented an ideal opportunity to celebrate its heritage in electrified form.
Like the originals, whose T1 platform was a practical one for teams to use for parts transport and even sleeping quarters for mechanics and race crew, the ID.Buzz's MEB platform is highly practical thanks to its skateboard architecture, freeing up space within the cabin.
The new electric buses will be used as shuttle buses and have promotional value at events. It certainly won't be used for races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as the days of loading up a few trucks and going racing are gone. Now, it's a whole roadshow controlled by professional managers and logisticians. With that in mind, it's incredible that Porsche used Bullis to cart around and supper legendary race cars like the 904, 908, 910, and, most legendarily, the 917.