Sitting at my work-from-home office, I see a massive Dilawri trailer with glass sides drive past my window. Inside is a clean, shiny white Porsche 911 Targa, one of the sportier models Porsche makes, and one I’ve never driven. I receive a text alerting me that my car has arrived. I go outside, and the Targa, roaring, is let down from the trailer’s ramp. After chatting with the knowledgeable manager, I’m given the keys and hop in, lower the elegant convertible hardtop, and head to the beach.
This is all part of the Porsche Drive experience. A new program offered in major Canadian cities, it allows users to pay a monthly fee to try out their favourite Porsche vehicles.
A veritable “Netflix for cars,” this program offers clients single or multicar subscriptions for one- or three-month periods. Clients are given access to an app where, if you choose the multicar subscription, you are able to switch out your car at the press of a button. And the best part? It’s all done for you. A team member drops off your new vehicle. I open the app and request a 2021 Cayenne, and within a few days, a new car is delivered.
Why this program? With all the new models constantly being released, even the most ardent enthusiasts can have a difficult time choosing which vehicle suits them. Many times, a test drive is not enough. Now that people are more and more comfortable with apps and subscription services, this development makes sense.
Building off of and far exceeding the older “car clubs,” this program is designed for speed and flexibility. Though not often used long-term, the subscription does benefit multifaceted modern people who might not want to commit to a single model. This is true especially in cities like Vancouver—and Kelowna where the program recently expanded—where city and wilderness both make up huge parts of the lifestyle. With programs like these, you can easily plan for which vehicle makes sense for certain periods. Younger people used to the app-based model of ownership might take particular interest.
“Porsche Drive offers individuals a choice of rental, as well as single or multi-vehicle subscription. With evolutions and advancements in technology and changing consumer behaviours, the program offers flexibility in accessing a Porsche without the commitment of full ownership,” says Marc Ouayoun, president and CEO of Porsche Cars Canada.
While I used the program in an accelerated capacity, trying out multiple vehicles in a smaller time frame, the variety the program offers strikes me as a huge boon to those who, like me, have a hard time choosing. Even in the Porsche universe, there are many different styles and options—so if you decide Porsche is where you want to put your time and money, you can find a vehicle that works for you and have plenty of time to let it coalesce with the day-to-day. Having staff at the tip of your fingers, through the app, also reduces the stress of new car ownership.
But the program is not only for the indecisive. In the contemporary economy, constant travel, international living, and delays in manufacturing are all problems potential owners encounter. Whether you’re a business person who wants quick, low-commitment access to cars or an international student wary of foreign ownership, programs like these are great. Also, with the high level of craft that goes into these cars, there can be waits in receiving new models, so these programs can also act as buffer periods while waiting for vehicle order to be fulfilled.
More than anything, the program represents flexibility. Changing keys with the ease of a delivery app and the courtesy of a valet is something that would have been unthinkable even a decade ago, and the fanfare of that trailer will remain in my mind for quite a while. This program draws out the awesome experience of “the new car”—something usually so fleeting. New cars forever! say the men and women of technology; Porsche has responded. And we’re off.
For more on the Porsche Drive Canada program, click here.