To mark its fifth anniversary, Porsche Museum announced a very special addition to the cars on display: the very first Porsche designed vehicle. The “Egger-Lohner electric vehicle, C.2 Phaeton model”, which mercifully has a nickname, P1, has finally been acquired and will soon go on permanent display at the museum.
The P1 was designed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1898 when he was just 22 years old. Despite being 115 years old, the P1 (Porsche, number one) is actually a modern vehicle because it is en EV! That’s right, Porsche fitted the P1, which is basically a horse-less carriage, with a compact rear mounted electric drive unit. It develops 3 horsepower, and has an overdrive mode that can momentarily push the output to 5 horsepower.
Boasting a 12-speed control unit that controlled the speed of the vehicle, the P1 could go as fast as 49 mph, which was a lot, and in fact must have been terrifying, back in 1898 when it first hit the streets of Vienna.
The P1 is also the grandfather of all Porsche racing cars, as it was the first Porsche-branded vehicle to enter a race. Following its Berlin debut in 1899, the car entered an all-electric vehicle race over a distance of 24 miles. With three passengers onboard, Ferdinand Porsche drove the P1 across the finish line 18 minutes ahead of the next competitor.
So if you ever visited Porsche Museum, forget about the 918 Spyder and the 917 Le Mans winners. Just make a beeline for the P1.