Porsche people are rolling over in their branded, leather-upholstered graves, while the rest of us are thinking, “Porsche has finally done something cool!” Porsche has made a single center-mounted driver seat – plucked straight from a McLaren F1 – electric minivan made for performance family hauling. The Porsche minivan is easily the coolest thing Porsche has ever done.
What is this Porsche minivan?
There is actually a precedent for this insanely cool concept Porsche minivan. Back in the 1980s, Porsche partnered with VW and actually built a very limited run of racing support vans called the Porsche B32.
Fast forward a few decades, and Porsche is revisiting that idea again. According to CarBuzz, Porsche revealed 15 never-before-seen concept cars last year, including an electric van called the Porsche Vision Renndienst. When Porsche initially released images of the electric Porsche minivan, the Germans only showed us the exterior. Now, after a year, Porsche has released images of the interior and its nuts.
Porsche’s minivan concept is inspired by the legendary McLaren F1
Not only is the idea of a sports minivan beyond cool; one that can fit six people and has a center position driver’s seat is simply too cool to handle. The Porsche minivan features three seats in the third row, two captain’s chairs in the middle, and a single center-mounted seat, like a McLaren F1 in the front. This is, without question, the most no-nonsense driving position possible, and to see it in an all-electric minivan brings value to both segments.
Typically, minivans carry seven people, but most minivans don’t have a center driver’s seat and are made by Porsche. The sacrifice of one less family member allowed in the minivan is a worthy sacrifice, indeed.
The center seat isn’t the only striking feature upfront. The cockpit includes some high-tech details, including a 1950’s-esq curved wrap-around windshield, two screens for the second-row passengers, and a digital cluster that seems to have been lifted from a Porsche Taycan.
What was Porsche thinking?
“We thought about how we could still give a distinctly Porsche flair to a passenger compartment that is so far removed from the classic sports-car interior. And how autonomous driving could be designed,” Chief Designer Michael Mauer said to CarBuzz.
He went on to say that, “We don’t assume that our customers want to give up using a steering wheel. When I want to drive, I have more cockpit feeling than in any other car. And when I don’t, the driver’s seat can be rotated 180 degrees – with one swivel; it turns to face the other passengers. We worked on materializing these basic ideas for about a year.”
Could this change peoples’ minds about minivans?
The minivan sector has taken a bit of a hit over the years. In the 80’s and 90s, minivans were the preferred method of family hauling. This was a simpler time where SUVs were mostly big, heavy, and inefficient 4x4s that were used for hauling gear and off-roading. With a few exceptions like the Chevy Suburban, SUVs weren’t the preferred family whip. That honor went to minivans and station wagons.
These days driving a minivan is seen as lame by many. As the crossovers and increasingly soft SUVs take over the family-hauling, the minivan is quickly disappearing from the suburbs. This is a shame because of how versatile and efficient they are. Maybe something like this Porsche minivan concept could change minds enough to give the minivan a comeback. However, few would have thought that Porsche would be the one leading the charge.