Trabant P50

Thursday 24 September 2009
The name of the car was inspired by Soviet Sputnik. The cars are often referred to as the Trabbi or Trabi, pronounced with a short a. Since it could take years (usual waiting time 15 years) for a Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered, people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually became skillful in maintaining and repairing it. The lifespan of an average Trabant was 28 years. Used Trabants would often fetch a higher price than new ones, as the former were available immediately, while the latter had the aforementioned waiting period of mostly at least ten years. There were two principal variants of the Trabant, the Trabant 500, also known as the Trabant P 50, produced 1957-1963; and the Trabant 601 (or Trabant P 60 series), produced from 1963 to 1991, with a 1.1L VW engine being introduced in 1990 (see below). The engine for both the Trabant 500 and original 601 was a small two-stroke engine with two cylinders, giving the vehicle modest performance. At the end of production in 1989 it delivered 19 kW (26 horsepower) from a 600 cc displacement. The car took 21 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) and the top speed was 112 km/h (70 mph). There were two main problems with the engine: the smoky exhaust and the pollution it produced—nine times the amount of hydrocarbons and five times the carbon monoxide emissions of the average European car of 2007. The fuel consumption was 7 L/100 km.

Technical data:
- engine: 2 cylinders
- capacity: 500 cc
- horsepower: 18 HP
- gearbox: 4+1
- top speed: 90 km/h

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