Feb 27, 2011

Porsche 1900 Semper Vivus full-hybrid

AutoBlogGreen Think the Toyota Prius was the first hybrid automobile ever made? Think again. Honda Insight? Keep guessing. In reality, the world's first hybrid was designed and built by none other than Ferdinand Porsche, founding father of the present-day Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart. 1900 Porsche Semper Vivus hybridThat's right, the same brain that brought us such HTML clipboard ingenious machinery as the Volkswagen Beetle and the glorious Auto Union racers built the world's first fully functional hybrid automobile.

Now that the modern-day Porsche brain-trust is once again showing interest in hybrid technology, the German company has decided to bring back the 1900 Semper Vivus, which literally means always alive. Although the technology behind hybrids has come a long way - Porsche's first hybrid used about 4,000 pounds of lead acid batteries and could barely climb any kind of grade - the basic principles are actually much the same.