Trabant hasn't been heard from in almost 20 years, but they burst back onto the scene with the all-electric Trabant nT. Pics and details of the debut inside.

Trabant made a triumphant return to the automotive scene after an 18 year absence from the marketplace.  The company unveiled the full size Traban nT concept on the floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show yesterday.

Unless you grew up in East Germany in the days when the Wall was still standing, you may never have heard of Trabant.  The company's cars were notorious for having very loud engines that pushed plumes of smoke through the tailpipes.  Between late-1957 and mid-1991 the company built well over three million vehicles.  52,000 cars remain on the German roads.

Although clearly inspired by the classic Trabi's, the newTrabi (where the "nT" comes from) is an electric model capable of a 160 km range.  To help maintain the range, solar paneling was installed on the roof, used to power some aspects of the vehicle.  Top speed is set at 130 km/h.

If you think the inside looks a bit barren, you'd be right.  The new car was built to be as simple as the original.  It appears to have a climate control system and little else, although the two power outlets allow some level of easy customization.

The Trabant nT, or newTrabi, was built with the help of auto body manufacturer IndiKar.  Scale-model company Herpa is credited with coming up with the newTrabi.

Be part of something big