The all-new, all electric Porsche Taycan is set to debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, and we think we know a lot about the upcoming, 600 HP supercar. One of the biggest things we think we know about it, obviously, is that it’s the first electric car from Porsche– but that’s not quite accurate. See, the earliest Porsche-built electric car is a bit older. Like, more than 120 years older, in fact! Meet the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton; better known as the Porsche P1.
According to the Wikipedia entry on the topic, the Porsche P1 was designed fully by Ferdinand Porsche, and is considered by many to be the first stepping stone towards the creation of his own eponymous company, Porsche. “The vehicle resembles a wooden crate or an old horse-drawn carriage,” reads the entry, “but it is actually an electrically motored vehicle.” The C.2 Phaeton sat four people, and was powered by a 3HP electric motor that spins up to 350 RPM, giving the early horseless carriage a top speed of around 35 km/h (~25 MPH). Similarly, the 2020 Taycan will also sit four people– but that might be where the similarities end!
Or, is it? See, when Porsche built the P1 more than a hundred years ago for coachmaker Egger-Lohner, it was a technological marvel. It’s almost impossible to relate to how futuristic an utterly silent, clean-running, and (comparatively) fast EV would have seemed to people and pedestrians who were still used to seeing horse-drawn buggies on their streets. That shock of seeing that would have probably been much greater to them than the impact of seeing a fast, electric sedan will be to us– and, honestly, we can thank Elon Musk and Tesla for that.
As for the P1, it made international news when it was discovered in a barn in 2014. It had sat there, idle, since being parked in 1902, and was in pretty good condition– though the body was destroyed by time. Porsche, in an attempt to honor the vehicle’s authenticity and “as found” status as a historical artifact, fitted what remained of the P1 with a clear “ghost body” to give museum visitors a sense of what the car looked like in its heyday. Which, I dunno– I think that’s pretty cool. What about you guys?
Check out some of the photos of the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton/Porsche P1 electric car, below, then let us know how you see the family bloodline play out in the all-new Taycan in the comments section at the bottom of the page.