Porsche goes green...100 years ago

At this month's Los Angeles Auto Show, the German performance automaker will unveil its green plan for a new century - the last one.

Hybrid power
Hybrid power
Porsche's answer was to generate electricity on-board as the vehicle drove. By 1901, he added a gasoline internal combustion engine to one of his all-wheel-drive electric race cars creating, essentially, the world's first hybrid car.

Unlike most hybrid cars today, the Lohner-Porsche Mixte's gas engine never powered the wheels directly. It was only used to generate power for the car's electric motors. In that way, it's more similar to something like General Motor's Chevrolet Volt concept vehicle. One big difference is that the Lehner-Porsche was, ultimately, powered by gasoline alone. It couldn't be plugged in for extra charging.

All five hybrid cars produced in 1901, equipped with Mercedes-Benz engines, were bought by Emil Jellinek. With further development, the Porsche-Lohner hybrids reached top speeds of 56 miles per hour.

As far as today's Porsche is concerned, the company is searching for ways to adapt to stricter fuel economy rules expected to come soon to the United States and Europe.

While a hybrid system will work in an SUV like the Cayenne, Porsche executives have said, the company's core remains its sports cars. It would be difficult to make a hybrid sports cars that would retain Porsche's legendary handling and balance, Porsche North America chief executive Peter Schwarzenbauer said in a recent interview with CNNMoney.com.


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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.