• 12

Click to view in our high-resolution image gallery

If you were born on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain, the Trabant should need no introduction. Ditto if you're a U2 fan. The notorious little sedan, nicknamed "Trabi", was made in East Germany and exported around the world, mostly inside the communist bloc. Not exactly the most ideal candidate for resurrection, but while it may not be as fondly remembered as the original Fiat 500, Volkswagen Beetle or the Mini, the Trabi has a cult following and has been featured in countless movies and video games. U2 featured the Trabi on its Zoo TV tour in the early '90s, and one hangs from the ceiling in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.

At the last Frankfurt Motor Show, a German model-carmaker showed a mockup of what a re-born Trabi might look like to gauge public reaction. Herpa secured the rights to use the name, and has now announced a deal with IndiKar, an automotive components manufacturer based in Saxony (where the original Trabant was made) to build it. Herpa and IndiKar hope to have a full-size concept ready to show by the next Frankfurt show, which doesn't roll around until the Fall of the Berlin Wall 2009. In the meantime, Herpa is putting a toy version on the market to be unveiled at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg in February.

Press release after the jump.

[Source: Herpa via World Car Fans]


New Trabant Goes Into Production

Herpa co-operates with IndiKar

The development of the Trabant successor in original size is currently being finalized in terms of a Saxon automobile cooperation. And at Herpa, the newTrabi "en miniature" already goes in production.
Presentation at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg.

The miniature manufacturer Herpa from Dietenhofen / Bavaria premiered the idea of reviving the brand Trabant at the IAA 2007 in Frankfurt and started the initiative newTrabi. The at the IAA presented design study in the 1/10 scale met a worldwide positive response. Over 90 percent of the polled IAA visitors voted with "yes" for a new Trabant. Already four months later, Herpa is now able to lay the foundation to expand the initiative newTrabi in form of a Saxon automobile cooperation.

The technical coordination and inclusion of additional Saxon companies for the development, respectively realization, is taken over by the company IndiKar (Wilkau-Haßlau, Zwickau/Saxony district). The IndiKar Individual Karosseriebau GmbH is a company of the Farmingtons Group and competent as system vendor of specialty vehicles, vehicle components and prototypes for the automobile industry. Management and team of IndiKar under the leadership of director Ronald Gerschewski know and appreciate the tradition of the historic Trabant and can be distinguished by a high level of know-how and innovation in individual automobile development.

"With IndiKar and their network-partners from the auto land Saxony, we want to pursue the goal to present a modern Trabant successor as original-sized prototype at the IAA 2009", so Klaus Schindler, member of the Herpa management and initiator of the newTrabi idea. "The wishes and expectations of the cult car's many enthusiastic fans will be incorporated in the development. The newTrabi is supposed to be an eye-catcher with history and charm, innovative, handy and economical."

Herpa will continue to manage the initiative newTrabi. The marketing and the contact to the car fans will therefore remain in Herpa's hands under the management of the initiator Klaus Schindler.

As first sponsor of the newTrabi Initiative will the Bauconzept Planungsgesellschaft mbH (Lichtenstein/Saxony) play a part. Director Christoph Rabe wants to make a contribution to this - for him also under cultural aspects - important project.

On request of thousands of fans, the Initiative newTrabi goes into the next round. And for all who would like to "have something in hand", the forerunners "en miniature" are already available. Parallel to the initiative's continuation, Herpa starts the production of the newTrabi as miniature model in the classic collector's scale 1/87 (H0), made in Germany and made of "plastic" of course. Herpa will present the newTrabi miniature model at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg from February 7 - 12, 2008. In April 2008, the model will be available in specialized trade for approx. 7 Euros.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      After seeing the success of the Renault Logan, this MAY actually work. The key is to make the car at least as good as the Logan, and price it cheaper.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Herpa derp.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well I have to say BUILD IT .. I think it looks great. Seems to have more personality than the new look mini and beetle. My thoughts would be it has to be of highly quality and it has to be affordable. Of course I'm going to rip any engine they put in out, and stick in some E85 V8 ... I think this thing has potential.
        • 7 Years Ago
        High quality, affordable, and Trabant???

        Trabant was a piece of soviet eastern-bloc junk. But it was all they were offered and could get, due to the tyranny of social and economic communism.

        A high quality Trabant is like a 100$ bic pen. Not very likely, and wouldn't make sense anyway.

        I suppose this might appeal to the current wave of neo-socialists who would love for people to bow the the control of big government fascism in the name of global warming religiosity. Back to the good or bad old days, depending on which side of the boot you are on.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What they were has little to no bearing on what they can be.

        Look at the VW, it was a peoples car - now it's for the elite pompus types - so too with the Mini (base model is $50k here in NZ)

        Here is a chance to take a brand, a look that people have an emotive response too ... and create a new persona for it. Why can't Trabant have a car that has personality of a Mini/VW but target Suzuki Swift prices - that's a good quality car on a budget!
      • 7 Years Ago
      That would be a terrible idea. A flash back to all the horrible memories of DDR times.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Retro nostalgia has officially run amok, if it hadn't already.

      Not every idea is a good idea. Not everything from the past needs to be resurrected.

      Let the iron curtain die, it was a horrible thing for the people oppressed by it. It doesn't need to be memorialized with nostalgia.
      • 7 Years Ago
      that thing it strait up fugly...but then again, so is the mini and somehow that sells well???
        • 7 Years Ago
        ur grammer iz strait up huh?
        • 7 Years Ago
        What? at least you can get the idea of what i'm saying...which is more than can be said for you.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ur grammer iz strait up WTF?

        Dat better?