Trabant Makes Comeback as Electric Vehicle Concept

By Brendan Moore

08.14.2009

trabant-nt-electric-concept

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.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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8 Comments

  1. Looks like a cross between a Dodge Magnum and a Mini.

  2. But will they use Duraplast body panels, Comrade? The Proletariat needs to know!

  3. I can’t believe the Trabant name is so fondly remembered among the German population. I’d like to see how that survey question was phrased.

    On another note, how can a parts supplier and a model car company build a car?

  4. This dream will not happen, you can bet on that.

    I’m sure some Germans want a Trabi until it comes time to choose between that and something from a real car company.

  5. this seems pointless. I can’t see people clamoring to buy a new Trabant.

  6. Seems like this would be an April 1 story.

  7. “On another note, how can a parts supplier and a model car company build a car?”

    Same way a Korean shipping company(Hyundai)can.

    German parts suppliers such as Magna, Steyr-Pusch….even Bosch have something of a positive history in this regard so why the denigration?

    Or are US consumers merely scared of what’s out there gunning for the remnants of the US car industry?

  8. The joke they used to tell in East Germany:

    After many years of waiting, a man finally can order a Trabant. He is given a delivery date ten years from now on May 3.

    The man asks, “Will delivery be in the afternoon or morning?”

    The official looks at him, amazed, and says, “That’s ten years from today. Do you have something else already scheduled for that day?”

    The man replies, “Yes, that’s the same day the plumber is supposed to come.”

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