Herpa New Trabant renderings - Click above for high-res image gallery

Anyone who's spent any time in East Germany is likely very familiar with the original Trabant, a diminutive automobile that was built and sold in the communist bloc. While the Trabant wasn't a particularly good car, it enjoys something of a cult following and is apparently ripe for a remake.

Unlike the old Trabant's smoky and extremely dirty two-stroke engine, the proposed New Trabant from Herpa Miniaturmodelle GmbH will feature clean electric power. Interestingly, Herpa is a German company that specializes in model cars and the whole idea sprang forth from a tiny little toy that brought the would-be automaker a ton of attention.

A rooftop solar panel should add a bit of power to the battery, which is reportedly expected to push the New Trabant up to a range of 250 kilometers (about 156 miles). A concept will be shown at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show and Herpa hopes to have the electric vehicle into production by 2012 if adequate investment can be procured.

Related GalleryHerpa new Trabant

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]