Long before he founded the Porsche brand in 1948 with the legendary Porsche 356, the first car Ferdinand Porsche ever designed was this 1898 P1, when he was only 22 years old. Now, the historic P1 will be on permanent display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
P1 is short for “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model,” and this early passenger vehicle was powered by a rear-mounted electric motor making a grand total of three horsepower. This motor weighed 287 lbs, routed power to the wooden wheels through a 12-speed control unit, and could take the P1 up to speeds of 21 mph when in its special overdrive mode. Thanks to its 1100-lb battery pack, the P1 even had an electric range of 49 miles, pretty impressive for a 2977-lb electric vehicle made more than 100 years ago.
In fact, the P1 even won a race between electric vehicles in Berlin by a whopping margin of 18 minutes. This 1899 competition showed the early engineering excellence of Porsche’s creation, as the P1 not only won the race, but also was the most efficient vehicle overall.
One-hundred fifteen years later, the unrestored and completely original P1 will make its way into the Porsche Museum after sitting untouched in a warehouse since 1902. The museum will be celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, and the P1 will be a part of a new exhibition on Porsche’s long product and motorsports history.
“[The exhibition] will bridge the gap between the past and present-day developments such as the Porche 918 Spyder,” said Porsche in a statement. We’re thinking it might be worth a trip to the museum just to see the dramatic contrast of the 1898 P1 and the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder parked next to each other.