I’ll bet you didn’t know the answer to that one, did you? If I had to venture a guess, it would have been far below 100 miles per hour. And no, we’re not talking about the terminal velocity of a Trabant dropped out of an airplane at 20,000 feet over the Nevada desert.
In fact, the world Trabant speed record was just shattered by brothers Maik and Ronny Urland, whose heavily modified Trabant ran a Guinness World Record 146 miles per hour. The previous Trabant world record had been 125 miles per hour, so it’s fair to say that the Urland brothers probably won’t see their record fall any time soon.
So how do you go about building a top speed Trabi? First, you “heavily modify” the anemic two-stroke motor, although Autoevolution didn’t provide details on the modifications. Next, you drop the suspension, build custom front and rear fascias, and tweak the aerodynamics to prevent lift at speed. Wider wheels and suitable tires complete the build.
Maybe the best question of all is, “why?” Fortunately, that one’s easy to answer: the Urland brothers wanted to do something to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s removal. The Trabant was a universal symbol of East Germany, so building a Trabant capable of nearly 150 miles per hour seemed like a fitting way to commemorate the event. As for me, I’ll just hoist a glass of Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest (since I can’t get Berlin’s Schultheiss Bier in the U.S.) to commemorate the death of German communism.