Is this the revival of yet another retro automobile? Don't cheer just yet, we aren't likely to see a restyled Trabant for quite a few years.
Is this the revival of yet another retro automobile? Don't cheer just yet, we aren't likely to see a restyled Trabant for quite a few years. Unlike its revamped twenty-first century Mini, VW Beetle and Fiat 500 comrades, the original Trabant is perhaps better remembered for its less rosy past. Mobilizing much of East Germany between 1959, when the first-generation Trabant 500 was introduced and 1990, the Trabant quickly became an object of ridicule in the West.
Few cars, however, share the history and the cult status of the Trabant. Soon after the Berlin Wall fell in October 1990, rock band U2 featured Trabants in their concert decoration on the Zoo TV Tour in the early 90s. In September 2007, Herpa, a German manufacturer of miniature car models, presented "Initiative newTrabi" drafts during the Frankfurt Motor Show, in hope to drum up support for a Trabant revival. Herpa has acquired the production rights to the Trabant brand and in September it announced it would consider licensing production rights to a car manufacturer.
Now, in early 2008, Herpa has announced a co-operation agreement with Saxony-based car parts manufacturer IndiKar. According to Herpa, over 90 percent of the polled visitors at the Frankfurt Motor Show expressed interest for a new Trabant. Klaus Schindler, member of the Herpa management says that "we want to pursue the goal to present a modern Trabant successor as original-sized prototype at the IAA 2009."
In the mean time, share your Trabant experiences with us and give us your thoughts on whether Trabant can pull this off?