It may be Green, but the model that will be on display is pale blue with round headlights. To the untutored or non-Teutonic eye, it is a retro-styled four door, which looks a bit like a Mini, but to our German friends, it is the reincarnation of the communist era runabout, which is one of the best-loved symbols of the DDR. Needless to say, it is already the star of the Frankfurt International Motor Show, which will open its doors on 17 September. "The Trabi has been reborn," reports Süddeutsche Zeitung, and for the first time in its history, the vehicle which was often cited as an illustration of the ills of central planning, may be ahead of the competition. The Trabant NT to be produced by Bavarian company Herpa and coach work builder Indikar "will be an electric car, equipped with a lithium-ion battery" — and the makers have promised a considerable reduction in the notorious waiting time, which was up to 15 years in pre-1989 East Germany. "Herpa and Indikar plan to deliver 5,000 Trabants in 2012 – if they find an investor," notes the Munich daily, which also points out that development of "the Green version of the cult DDR vehicle will cost at least 30 million euros." Notwithstanding this investment, the new Trabant will be subject to the limitations of all electric vehicles. It will be marketed at the hefty price of 20,000 euros, and will only be able to cover "a maximum distance of 160 km before it needs to be plugged in again."
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