No, this isn’t an electric car! With the 613 Electronic Tatra wanted to show that it was capable of building a luxurious modern car in Kopřivnice in the1990s.
The elegant Tatra 613 was manufactured between 1974 and 1995. During its history there were a couple of special versions, including the T613-4 Electronic. One such car was recently bought in Slovakia for around EUR 50.000.
This may seem like a high sum, but in this case we are talking about a very rare car – owing to both its provenance and the number of units produced. This particular car was produced on the order of Minister of Industry and Trade Mr. Vladimír Dlouhý, you can even find his signature under the seat he sat on.
The T613-4 Electronic is very interesting in itself. The model was sold in 1993 and it was the first ever Czech serial car with full-fledged onboard computer. There are three onboard computers communicating via Can-Bus, which was quite an unique solution at that time. DatametrZlín and Bazala automotive engineering cooperated in the development of the onboard computers. There is even a voice output that alerted the driver to any faults and reported various information. The messages relayed by the female voice included : “Please turn on the seat belts,” “Attention, the outside temperature dropped below zero” or “Attention, fuel supply left for only 10 kilometers.”
With this upgrade, a modified instrument cluster was featured that could monitor speed, engine rpm, oil temperature and fuel status, with both analogue and digital display. There were displays for engine oil temperature, fuel tank status, outside temperature and fuel consumption.
The donor for the T613-4 Electronic was the 5,150 mm long Mi-Long versionn. Featuring an air-cooled 3495 cc three-cylinder turbocharged, eight-cylinder engine with a multi-point injection it reached a power output of 148 kW and a torque of 300 Nm. Electronic controls with the GEMS control unit has increased the efficiency of the engine, while emissions have been reduced via a pair of three-way catalytic converters.
The engine was coupleed with with a five-speed manual gearbox, which was rebuilt as a four-speed version. That’s why the gearbox had an absolutely unique scheme with a return to the position of the two and the two to the four position.
The main attraction of the car was possibly the equipment of the car. The mirrors were electrically operated, with additional self-dimming. Tatra took this feature from the Cadillac Fleetwood de Ville. Also there was manual air conditioning, heated seats or electrically operated sunroof offered. The seats were upholstered with leather, but the the featured car (the 9th made) is special in this respect – at the request of Vladimír Dlouhý’s wife it has received a textile upholstery.
Extra equipment included a refrigerator located in the middle of rear seats, mobile phone, color TV or a stereo Blaupunkt Frankfurt RCM 82 with CD player .
The car was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 1993 featuring Recaro seats and BBS steering wheel.
Tatra 613-4 really wanted to show off and demonstrate that it is also able to compete with western cars. While the company continued to target government clientele, the advertising slogan mentioned that it was a “limousine not only for ministers”.
After all it did not work out, The Tatra 613-4 Electronic failed and only 17 were manufactured.
The failure was down to its price, as the T613-4 was sold for 1,250,000 Czech crowns which was on a level with a more modern Audi 80 or a Mercedes-Benz C/class.
However today it is an interesting car for collectors.
A list of the 17 cars and information about their whereabouts: http://www.tatra700.cz/fotoalbum/t613-electronic-seznam/