What's old is new again as Porsche is reusing Volkswagen vans. Instead of relying on the Transporter to haul race cars, the ID. Buzz will be showcased starting this month at eight dealerships in The Netherlands as part of the brand's celebrations related to its 75th anniversary. The retro-flavored EV is decked out with Renndienst (Race Service) branding to echo its ancestors, the first of which was a Bulli used during the 1954 Mille Miglia race.
Since it didn't have a van of its own, Porsche used various iterations of VW's venerable workhorse from the 1950s until the 1970s to transport some of its most important race cars, including the 904, 908, 910, and 917. These vans served multiple purposes as some were used by the racing team as a makeshift hotel and others were tasked to take the drivers to and from circuits.
Volkswagen ID. Buzz with Porsche Renndienst branding
Some of you will recall that in November 2020, the Vision Renndienst was revealed as a futuristic electric van part of the "Porsche Unseen" series of secret concepts. It had a central driver's seat flanked by two passenger seats à la McLaren F1, but with three extra seats in the rear. The peeps from Zuffenhausen decided to showcase it alongside a VW T1 wearing a similar red livery. Sadly, it was purely a design exercise, with no plans for a production version.
But what if we were to tell you there was a Porsche-engined van? The B32 was engineered as a support vehicle based on a third-generation Transporter) for the Group B 959 race car in the Paris Dakar rally campaign. Only 15 were produced between 1983 and 1985 with a flat-six 3.2-liter engine borrowed from a 911 Carrera S. The sporty van had 231 horsepower and hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in around six seconds before topping out at 130 mph (290 km/h). It sat on 16-inch Fuchs wheels and received uprated brakes along with a beefier suspension.
Fast forward to 2023, the Volkswagen Group is preparing to launch a new performance van as the ID. Buzz will be getting the GTX treatment. Expect all-wheel drive from a pair of dual motors making a combined 300 horsepower or somewhere in that region.