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?

2003 Rinspeed Bedouin Concept

Credit: Rinspeed

Engine

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.

2003 Rinspeed Bedouin Concept

Credit: Rinspeed

Interior

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.

2003 Rinspeed Bedouin Comcept

Credit: Rinspeed

The photoshoot interrupted some rally. However, it needed to be interrupted.

2003 Rinspeed Bedouin Concept

Credit: Rinspeed