I enjoy the rabbit hole of old concept cars. I love when a new one comes up that I haven’t seen before.
The 2003 Rinspeed Bedouin concept is fantastic. Not the first vehicle to borrow its name from a tribe of people. We all know about the Cherokee, the Commanche, the Dakota, the Mazda Navajo, and the VW Touareg.
Originally a 996 Porsche 911, the Bedouin is an interesting concept. The most notable feature of the Bedouin concept is the push-button electric driven roof. At a button push, the four-seater wagon converts into a two-seat pick-up.
Here is the motion of the roof in the lower-left corner:
The suspension was changed to an Eibach system that creates a 15-centimeter lift (~6 inches). It looks like a 15-millimeter lift. However, the tires remain road tires. Rinspeed’s release identified them as Continental SportContact with full off-road capability. Sure.
There is a healthy budget for rhinestones and graphics. Stickers and graphics make the Bedouin better off-road and add horsepower. How much horsepower do rhinestones add?
The same engine powers the concept as a 996 Carrera. Natural gas is the fuel for the Bedouin Concept. The twin-turbo engine makes 420 horsepower and 413 lb-ft. A natural gas vehicle in 2003 is pretty impressive.
Rhinestones are on the gear shifter, door cards, seats, badges, and just about everywhere else they could. Also, there is an LCD screen for the rearview camera and a DVD player for entertaining in the desert. The steering wheel is an iteration of K.I.T.T.’s wheel from Knight Rider.
The photoshoot interrupted some rally. However, it needed to be interrupted.