Porsche shows off a gas-electric hybrid from 1900

One of the highlights of this year's New York International Auto Show is the Porsche Panamera Hybrid, but Porsche is also showing off another hybrid on their stand, the world's first, made 111 years ago in 1900.

The Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus uses a gas engine to run a small generator, which in turn provides power to a pair of electric hub motors built inside the front wheels. A battery can run the car if you run out of fuel, which was kind of a problem back in 1900 when there wasn't a gas station on every corner.

None of the original Lohner-Porsche versions are still around, so this replica was painstakingly recreated over the last seven years. They didn't even have the original drawings, so they had to work from a handful of photographs along with some written descriptions.

The new crop of hybrid cars aren't the only modern vehicles influenced by this turn of the (last) century marvel. NASA says that it used the wheel hub motor idea from the Lohner-Porsche for the drive system of its Lunar Rover.

Via International Business Times

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