Trabant EV Concept to Debut at Frankfurt Motor Show
A transportation staple of the Communist Bloc during the Cold War era is set to be resurrected as an electric vehicle next month in Frankfurt. While the original Trabi was best known for its flimsy "Duroplast" bodywork and astonishingly dirty two-stroke engine, the developer of this new incarnation says it will be a super-clean battery powered vehicle, weigh less than 2,200 lb, have a range of about 155 miles and incorporate a solar panel on its roof to help with on-the-fly recharging. The New Trabi concept was created by Herpa Miniaturmodelle GmbH, a German firm located in the Trabant's home town of Zwickau and best known around the world for producing an extensive line of scale-model cars and airplanes. Herpa acquired rights to the Trabant trademark in 2007 and hopes to bring a production version of this new zero-emissions successor to market in 2012 -- provided the right investors can be found to help finance the ambitious program. Partnering with Herpa in the undertaking are IndiKar, a firm with expertise in producing prototypes and specialty vehicles and IAV Automotive Engineering, which will be the source of the New Trabi's electric powertrain components. More details are due to be released when the New Trabi concept appears on the showstand at Frankfurt.