East Germany’s smoke belching, unreliable communist era auto is set to resurface as an electric concept vehicle at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The original Trabi was launched in 1958. Throughout most of it’s life time the Trabi was powered by a two stroke, two cylinder motor. The Trabant was a monocoque design with it’s roof, trunk, hood fenders and doors made of Duroplast. Duroplast was a plastic resin which the former East Germans added cotton waste from Russia to strengthen. While this saved money and weight, they were far from safe.Ã‚Â Trabis were far from performance machines. 0-100 km/h took 21 seconds. The top speed was 112 km/h. According to figures there as many as 50,000 Trabants still registered in Germany. Many of the “iconic” East German autos are a tourist’s favourite ways of seeing Berlin.
German manufacturer Herpa Miniaturmodelle GmbH along with specialty vehicle maker Indikar plan to unveil the Trabant concept at the Frankfurt show. The companiesÃ‚Â hope that showing the Trabant electric concept will attract investors. Herpa which makes model planes and cars is coincidentally located in the Zwickau region where the original Trabant was built.
Herpa has not released much information on the vehicle. Herpa says the car will have a solar panel roof to recharge the battery, a range of approximately 250 kms, and weigh less than 1000 kg.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Berlin based IAV automotive engineering is responsible for the electric powertrain.
Herpa hopes to have the new Trabant on German city streets by 2012.