Trabant Makes Comeback as Electric Vehicle Concept
By Brendan Moore
Almost twenty years after the Berlin Wall came down, and Trabant production ceased, the car may be poised for a revival.
Over three million of the smoky, rattling two-stroke cars were produced, and when the Wall came down, it seemed to West Germans that all of those cars came across the former border at once, making the cars enduring symbols of the East German communist government to both East and West Germany.
According to German officials, there are around 50,000 Trabants (Trabis) still plying German roadways currently.
Now there is a German consortium comprised of parts maker named IndiKar, in tandem with an automobile model maker named Herpa, that has produced a concept city car that it is promoting as a “green” Trabant – an electric “new” Trabant nT.
Hence, the “nT” in the the concept’s name.
The consortium is looking to raise approximately $180 million USD in order to start production in Zwickau, the Trabant’s former home city. They hope to entice potential investors when they show the Trabant nT at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 17.
A press spokesman for the German consortium stated that a poll they commissioned revealed that 93% of Germans want to see the Trabant reborn as a clean vehicle.
The new Trabant’s specifications call for a 150-mile-range electric vehicle with a small supplemental gasoline engine for emergencies, solar panels on the roof for passive recharging, a 75 mph top speed, a modern interior, and, unlike, the original, many, many exterior colors. The forecasted price point is approximately $14,000.
Unlike the original, if the new Trabant is produced, the company promises customers they will not have to wait 12 years for delivery.
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