Porsche’s U.S. subscription and rental programs now include the Taycan, the German automaker’s first all-electric sports car.
It becomes Porsche Drive’s most expensive short-term offering.
Porsche Drive offers seven models for month-by-month subscription or hourly rental use. The Taycan is not yet part of the automaker’s multi-vehicle swap-out subscription plan.
Porsche Drive also is adding five new cities to the program. It started in 2017 in Atlanta (home base for the automaker’s U.S. operations) and has expanded to Houston, Phoenix as well as six California cities: Irvine, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose. Further U.S. expansion is in the works, the company says.
“Think of Porsche Drive as sports car-as-a-service, a convenient digital way to access the Porsche experience,” says Porsche Cars North America President and CEO Kjell Gruner. “In three years of testing and growing the concept, together with our dealers, we have created a solution for people who prefer shorter-term and more flexible access.”
He adds that 80% of Porsche Drive customers are new to the brand, calling that “a mark of the program’s success.”
Porsche Drive offers three core options:
- Multi-vehicle subscription for one month at a time that allows swaps between models.
- Single-vehicle subscription for either one or three months with an option to extend.
- Rentals for shorter periods.
The initiatives are meant to complement, not replace, selling and leasing cars, Gruner says, citing a changing mobility landscape. “Today more than ever, consumers increasingly want more flexibility, more individual choice, and to have this access on their mobile devices.”
All of the subscription and rental plans share a common fleet of current Porsche cars and utility vehicles. The plans are accessed by the Porsche Drive app that offers vehicle choices, scheduling and concierge service for vehicle delivery and pick-up.
The subscription plans feature a flat monthly fee that covers operating costs (such as vehicle maintenance and insurance) other than fuel and (in the case of the Taycan) charging.
The Taycan 4S model initially is available under the single-vehicle subscription and rental plan.
Porsche says Taycan subscription fees compare with a lease at the same ratio as other models in Porsche Drive – about 20% above the monthly cost of a comparable two-year lease.
The Taycan 4S fee is $3,250 per month and the Taycan rear-wheel drive will be $2,500 monthly. Taycan 4S rentals are $335 a day for one to three days and $295 a day for four days or more. Rates don’t include taxes and a $595 activation fee.
Later this spring, Porsche will put the Taycan RWD model in the subscription/rental fleet and make it available under all plans. Consumer membership in them depends on background checks.
Porsche is among several luxury automakers that offer subscription programs in urban markets.
Consumers attracted to them range from a person who wants to thoroughly test drive a vehicle before signing a purchase or lease agreement, to someone who wants to drive the entire lineup.
The swap programs potentially let participants drive a sedan for commuting, a convertible on fair-weather weekends and an CUV when hosting visiting family or friends and extra space is needed.
Steve Finlay is a retired WardsAuto senior editor. He can be reached at [email protected].