Electric Trabant to debut in Frankfurt

Electric Trabant to debut in Frankfurt
Synonymous with the former East Germany, the small Trabant produced until the early 1990s has apparently inspired a German toy manufacturer to create an electric prototype that it will display in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in hopes of attracting investors.

“The New Trabi will be a stylish car with a history,” Herpa Miniaturmodelle GmbH spokesman Daniel Stiegler told Automotive News Europe. “It will be electrically powered because that is the trend.”

The new Trabant will share the look of the old model, though it will offer four doors and a larger rear cargo area. A solar panel mounted on the roof will help recharge its battery and the overall vehicle will weigh about 2,200 lbs. The overall range will be somewhere around 150 miles.

Despite its smoky two-stroke motor, the original Trabant’s basic construction was fairly green in concept. Its body was made of Duroplast, a bakelite-esque material formed from recycled cotton waste and phenol resin.

Herpa says that IAV Automotive Engineering of Berlin helped supply the electric powertrain, while specialty carmaker IndiKar of Zwickau, the site of original Trabant production, helped construct the prototype. Herpa is
also based in Zwickau.

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