Sunday, May 8, 2011

The first 4 wheel drive... was a Porsche. It was also the first hybrid. It was over 110 years ago as well

Jacob Lohner & Co in Vienna, Austria produced electric cars from 1898 to 1906.
Ferdinand Porsche, one of Lohner´s employees developed a drive system based on fitting an electric motor to each front wheel without transmissions (hub mounted).
Vehicles of this type were known as Lohner-Porsches

Lohner produced a number of hybrid petrol- electric cars. That is, with a gasoline US engine driving a generator to produce the electricity to drive the electric motors.

While the Lohner-Porsche technology was reliable, it was not competitive with conventional petrol-engined cars. Production costs where higher.
Production of Hybrid cars seized in 1906 although Lohner produced Lohner-Stoll trolley buses for several years on.

Above is a recreation, and is named "Semper Vivus" and is currently on display at the Porshe museum in Stuttgart between May 10 2011 and June 13 2011

Here below is a picture of a racing version of the front wheel driven, petrol-electric Lohner "Porsche". This vehicle was entered in the 1900 "Semmering" race and is driven by Dr. Porsche himself.

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