The World’s First Hybrid is a Century Old and it’s a Porsche
By April 25th, 2011Monday, April 25, 2011 1:32 on
We’re not sure what prompted Porsche to dig into its past and find the first hybrid car ever built, but that’s what they did and this is what they’ve come up with: Semper Vivus. Unveiled at the New Your Auto Show, the model is a faithful replica of the 1900 model that costs $750,000, almost the double of its peer – Panamera S Hybrid.
The car may look strange, maybe even look like a chariot, but “Always Alive” is worth a second look: its batteries can go up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) and another 160 kilometers (100 miles) after the 3.5-horsepower engines start up.
The maximum speed is 35 mph, which at the time raised a few eyebrows. Another detail worth looking at is the rubber tires, built in so they could sustain the heavy 3,700 pounds of the car. Also, the two 2.5-kilowatt generators kick in when the batteries empty out.
And now a small history bite: the first initiative to build this car came in 2007 from the Porsche Museum, but all they had was a sketch and a drawing to get inspired from. Even after digging into the company archives, they didn’t come up with much, but they decided to go ahead with it anyway.
Apparently, Ferdinand Porsche, who was no stranger to the electrical engineering field, joined Viennese coachbuilder Ludwig Lohner in building his lifetime passion – electric vehicles. Today, Semper Vivus has modern pieces integrated into it, but the engines are original: one from France and one from England.
After all, Semper Vivus can be seen as a piece of the past coming back to show us the future!
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