Porsche's first ever car - an electric convertible - has been recovered after 112 years in storage
Vehicle hand-built by manufacturer's founder Ferdinand Porsche has been left "untouched" in a warehouse for more than a century
At first glance it looks more like a horse-drawn carriage than a car, but the 19th-century styling of the first Porsche ever built is hiding a vehicle that was ahead of technologically ahead of its time.
Official known as the “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model”, this four-seater was built by hand by Ferdinand Porsche himself in 1898, and according to Porsche it’s been untouched since it was “parked in a warehouse in 1902”.
Also known as the P1 (the code that was engraved on each part, standing for ‘Porsche #1’), the 1350kg vehicle was actually battery powered with a range of up to 80 kilometres or 3-6 operating hours.
With an average output of 3 horsepower (boosted to 5 in ‘overloading mode’) the P1 could reach speeds of up to 35 km/h and was one of the first vehicles ever registered in Porsche’s native Austria. It was even a convertible of sorts, featuring an ‘alternative vehicle body’ that could switch between a closed Coupé style for Winter and open Phaeton design for summer.
Despite their slow return to the mainstream, electric vehicles were fairly popular during the advent of the motor car, with Porsche racing the P1 at the 1899 international motor vehicle exhibition in Berlin alongside 18 other electric vehicles.
Porsche drove the car himself with three passengers on-board, traversing a 40-kilomtere long course that included multiple gradients (no easy feat back then) as well as an 8.6km long racing stretch.
Not only was the P1 was first to cross the finish line (beating second place by a full 18 minutes) but it even managed to come out top in an efficiency test, recording the lowest energy consumption in urban traffic. It's curious to think how different today's cars might be if manufacturers' enthusiasm for electricity had endured.
The P1 has now been restored by Porche and sits in the company's museum in Stuttgart - see the gallery below for more pictures and facts.
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
Life & Style blogs
New £3 pill that will help stop you drinking too much available on the NHS
Dame Vivienne Westwood: The former Queen of Punk may now be an establishment pillar, but her work is still controversial – and much copied
Revealed: Lidl’s £4 perfume smells identical to Chanel’s £70 scent - but the difference is in the bottle
Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
- 1 Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car allowance (£5.5k)+ benefits: Ashdown Group: Ma...
£15k - 18k per year + Benefits & OTE: Opilio Recruitment: Digital Media, Mob...
£67200 - £96000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Self-employed Sales People and ...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + £70,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Sou...