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Audi ‘urban concept car’ bound for Frankfurt

First sketches of new urban car released by Audi

Audi Urban Concept Car 2

Open top is only for fresh air, you get into the car from the back

Audi has released the first official sketches of a new ‘urban concept car’ that’s headed for the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

Described as a ‘technical study’ into the future of city-centre transportation, the all-electric urban concept car is unlike any Audi we’ve ever seen before.

Audi urban concept car: answer to city congestion?

As the sketches show, the Audi urban concept car consists of a central passenger pod, surrounded by individually covered wheels, rather like a single-seater racing car.

It’s also reminiscent of the Renault Twizy Z.E. – another all-electric urban vehicle, but one that is actually going on sale next year. Like the Twizy, the Audi seats two people, and is intended as a potential solution to inner city traffic congestion.

The unusual bodystyling helps reduce weight, aided by the extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) in its construction – not least for the central cockpit.

Read our guide to electric and eco cars

Audi Urban Concept Car 1

All-electric Audi ‘urban concept car’ claims to be the city car of the future 

1+1 seater

Where the Twizy seats two people in tandem, the Audi urban concept car is officially a ‘1+1 seater’.

This means the two passengers are sit side-by-side in a staggered configuration. 

The seat bases are incorporated into the cockpit structure, so you have to move the steering wheel and pedals to alter the driving position.

And you get into the car via the rear tailgate – the sliding roof arrangement seen in the drawings is only there to give an open-air driving experience.

E-tron power and performance

The 21-inch wheels are covered by ‘protective plates’ fitted with blinking LED strips, and driven by a pair of e-tron electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.

No performance or range data has been released, but this all-electric combination is said to be ‘ideal for extended city tours’ and able to ‘accelerate powerfully.’

We’ll tell you more when the wraps come off the real thing next month.

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