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Porsche 'P1' makes comeback - at 116

2014-01-28 11:50

RETURN OF THE MACK? An original 116-year old Porsche 'P1', the world's first sports car, will make its world debut at the Porsche Museum to celebrate the venue's fifth anniversary. Image: Porsche

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Porsche Museum is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the return of the world’s very first Porsche design, an original ‘P1’ from 1898 - and no, that's not a typo.

The Porsche Type 356 of 1948, all of 50 years later, is regarded as the world’s first sports car, yet the company’s history dates back to a much earlier period. In 1898 Ferdinand Porsche presented the ‘Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model’ known as the ‘P1’ – the world’s first Porsche design.

Porsche 'P1' GALLERY

After 116 years, the original and unrestored vehicle has been recovered and will be displayed from the beginning of February 2014 to mark the fifth anniversary of the Porsche Museum.

According to Porsche, the ‘P1’ was one of the first vehicles registered in Austria and took to the streets of Vienna on June 26 1898. Porsche engraved the code ‘P1’ which means Porsche, No.1 on all the key components, thus giving the electric vehicle its unofficial name.

The compact electric m otor, weighing 130kg, offered an output of 2.2kW. For short periods as much as to 3.7kW could be achieved in overloadmode, allowing the ‘P1’ to reach 35km/h.

80KM DRIVING RANGE

Porsche says the vehicle speed was regulated via a 12-speed controller. The overall range of the vehicle could span as far as 80km. A further innovation was the Lohner alternating vehicle body, which allowed the vehicle to be used during any season.

Electric racing is nothing new, either. The ‘P1’ faced its first practical test in September 1899 at the international motor vehicle exhibition in Berlin, Germany, with the announcement of a race for electric vehicles over a distance of 40km, according to Porsche.

Ferdinand Porsche steered his ‘P1’ across the finish line 18 minutes ahead of the next competitor, with three passengers on board. More than half the racers failed to reach the finish due to technical difficulties.

Porsche also came out on top in the efficiency test, as his ‘P1’ recorded the lowest energy consumption in urban traffic.
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