PORSCHE TRIALS ‘ON DEMAND’ OWNERSHIP IN OXFORD
Porsche Life ‘pop-up’ puts a new spin on the age old test drive
Porsche has chosen the opening of its latest Porsche Life ‘pop-up’ shop in the Westgate Mall in Oxford to put a new spin on the traditional test drive experience. Known as ‘Drive a Porsche’, the trial service makes it possible for enthusiasts to hire one of Stuttgart’s finest for a weekend drive. The idea is to allow Porsche to explore how drivers might respond to similar ‘on-demand’ ownership opportunities.
Two models are on offer, the 365hp 718 Boxster GTS and the plug-in Cayenne E-hybrid with its 462hp petrol-electric powertrain. The scheme is being run for a limited period from 30 November until 23 December. Pricing for ‘Drive a Porsche’ ranges from £175 to £500. Visitors interested in participating need only to swing by the ‘Porsche Life’ pop-up store in the Westgate Mall to make a weekend booking of their choice.
The pop-up location itself is also something of an experiment. Described as a relaxing and informal environment, different experience areas within the pop-up are presented in the context of a living room, lounge area and home office. Key elements of what defines a Porsche are available for interaction. That includes an exploration of the ‘Sound of Porsche’ and gesture control screens that open up the world of Porsche.
Porsche says each visitor experiences Porsche Life via interactive presentations designed to span the breadth of Porsche’s history and celebrate the marque’s 70th anniversary year. These include insights into the Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car and also hints towards Porsche’s literally electrifying future in the form of the Taycan, Porsche’s first all-electric model due out in 2019.
A centrepiece of the display is a large, one-third scale model of the 2015 Mission E concept car, representing a sneak preview of the forthcoming Porsche Taycan battery electric sports car. An augmented reality application enables visitors to bring it fully to life, offering a virtual experience today of the Porsche technology of tomorrow. As part of a collaboration with Google, Porsche has developed the AR app which allows the user to digitally discover the technical secrets of Porsche’s first electric car.
Porsche says the pop-up involves no overt sales process in place. Instead, each Porsche Life pop-up is designed around the concept of an innovative, urban meeting point, and to share a coffee and the Porsche spirit with fellow enthusiasts. Of course, that doesn’t quite mean that money definitely won’t change hands. Those wishing to leave with their own piece of ‘Porsche Life’ on the day will be able to purchase items drawn from the Porsche Driver’s Selection, including everything from keyrings to a Porsche faithfully replicated in scale model form.
Porsche’s latest ‘popup’ shop/experience in Oxford allows potential customers to hire a Porsche for the weekend