The Porsche P1 might be considered rare by some people. It’s an electric model, so you might think it’s a fairly recent development, but in fact the P1 is an 1898 model.
Yes, that’s right. The world’s first Porsche was built in 1898. As in 116 years ago.
The small, open-top car was built by Ferdinand Porsche when he was just 22. It’s the first car he ever built.
Some 30 years later, the same Ferdinand Porsche would form a company that initially designed German tanks for WWII and then vehicles such as the original Volkswagen Beetle. After the war, the company focused on building sports cars, and the first Porsche under that umbrella was the Type 356 in 1948.
The result of Ferdinand Porsche’s vision, the ‘Egger-Lohner C.2 electric vehicle,’ rolled onto the streets of Vienna for the first time on June 26, 1898, and Ferdinand Porsche made sure that he would take credit for the vehicle’s design in a most unusual manner: He engraved the code ‘P1’ (P for Porsche, number 1) onto all of the key components, thus giving the vehicle its unofficial name.
To build the P1, Ferdinand mounted an electric motor to a chassis and body built by Lohner. The car put out 3 horsepower, though the driver could get brief doses of 5 horsepower if needed in a pinch.
That 3 horsepower delivered a top speed of 21 miles per hour and a 49-mile all-electric range. That sounds nothing like the new 2014 Panamera, right?
Check out this stat for the all-new Panamera Hybrid:
Using only electric power, the Hybrid can travel up to 22 miles and reach a speed of 83 mph. Combined output from the gas engine and electric motor is 416 horsepower with a plateau-like 435 lb-ft torque curve coming from 1250 to 4000 rpm.
So in a hundred-plus years, we’ve gained 62 miles an hour and lost 27 miles of range. Fascinating.
While it’s completely impossible to get your hands on the old P1, since it’s going on permanent display at the Porsche museum, and a new Panamera Hybrid will set you back over $100K, your best bet for Porsche ownership lies in the CarGurus used listings.
Which Porsche would you want, the 1898 model, the 2014 model, or one somewhere in between?