Return of the Trabant

Discussion in 'Other Vehicles' started by Nathan, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Founder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Short North
    +10,050 / 0 / -0

    That horrid rumor from August is hideously true — there is a new Trabant on the way, it is an electric car and it could be on the road by 2012 if the company finds some investors willing to front the cash.

    The Trabant nT trundled into the Frankfurt auto show in what was surely the first time anyone’s seen a Trabi that wasn’t clattering and spewing smoke. The nT — the company says it stands for “new thinking, new technology and new Trabant†— updates the P 601 Universal. Propulsion is by a 45 kilowatt (60.3 horsepower) asynchronous motor powered by a lithium-ion battery with a claimed range of 100 miles. Top speed is limited to 80 mph. The company says those figures are “absolutely sufficient.â€

    Here’s a hint, guys — when you start using phrases like “absolutely sufficient†when discussing a Trabant, you could be mistaken for the spokesman at Red Oktober Tractor Factory No. 16.

    We’ve railed against the Trabant before, so we won’t run through all the things that made the original so terrible. But we will repeat our main point: the Trabant is the worst car ever made. It made the Yugo look like the pinnacle of automotive styling and engineering.

    So now comes Herpa Miniaturmodelle, a toymaker that offers a model of the Trabant, and German auto parts company IndiKar with an idea to resurrect the Trabi and make it electric. We can see what they’re going for — an urban commuter and fleet vehicle. The range and top speed fit that goal to a “T,†and the car can be recharged overnight for about 1€. That’s great.

    But we don’t get the styling. Herpa says the car “is characterized by a distinctive appearance.†Yeah — as distinctive as a wart and about as attractive. We can’t understand why they thought the car’s original design was worth emulating and updating (someone involved in the project clearly likes Chip Foose). If the original Trabant’s worst failing was its drivetrain, it’s styling was a close second.

    Be that as it may, Herpa say it is serious about getting this car on the road by 2012 and, according to the New York Times is lining up investors. Klaus Schindler, the head guy at Herpa, says it will cost around 20,000 Euros, or $29,000.

    For a Trabant?
  2. goaljnky

    goaljnky New Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    LaLaLand, Left Coast, Overpopulated and Underfunde
    +392 / 0 / -0
    I resent the derogatory remark towards Red Oktober Tractor Factory No. 16. I have been to Red Oktober Tractor Factory No. 16. I have spent couple of summers working at Red Oktober Tractor Factory No. 16. There was no better Tractor Factory producing AK-47's in all of USSR. And if you preferred your lunch to be a fifth of vodka, some pickled herring and boiled potatoes... well then, Red Oktober Tractor Factory No. 16 was the place to be.
  3. phydeaux

    phydeaux New Member

    May 5, 2009
    Maple Valley, WA
    +1 / 0 / -0
    $29K for THAT??? Is it April already?
  4. Deviant

    Deviant Banned

    Apr 23, 2009
    Southern IL
    +2 / 0 / -0
    I see the resemblance to the original I guess. I hope their sales pitch is "Trabant, not the same old problems." I think these things have taken on a cult type of following in Europe, sorta like the 2CVs had but without ever being a good car for the times, so there's probably a premium they can charge for the name in a way. That or they'll realize the whole 100mile range electric car makes even less sense in Europe than it does in the US, ask BMW to put a diesel engine in it and give the suspension some tweaks........
  5. Dr Obnxs

    Dr Obnxs New Member

    Jun 11, 2009
    A Man of Wit and Charm! (Just ask my wife!)
    Woodside, CA, up in the hills and trees.
    +3 / 0 / -0

    I thought it was the new Clubman!


Share This Page