Audi has raised some eyebrows by revealing an urban concept car — appropriately called the ‘urban’ — ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt motor show.
Looking for all the world like a gravity racerthe motorless downhill racers that entertain the crowds at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the car does in fact have motive power — two e-tron electric motors provide the ultra-light Audi urban concept with the ability to accelerate powerfully. A lithium-ion battery supplies the energy; ideal for extended city tours.
The 1+1 seat car is not descended from any previous model -– its development is based on the strict principles of lightweight construction, efficiency and reduction. The result is a concept car with no unnecessary weight and one that concentrates on the pure essence of dynamic motion.
The concept has a sleek body. The wheels are free-standing, and the surrounding protective plates feature ‘blinking’ strips of LED lights. The highly-concentrated look of the technical study, with its forward-urging lines, is dynamic and emotional, and lends a completely new impetus to the Audi design language.
There is room for two people on board, their position slightly staggered and at a sporty, low level. All controls and materials are subject to the dictates of ultra-lightweight construction to ensure they convey a unique, sensory allure. The driver can adjust the steering wheel and pedals for his or her own driving position. Entry to the car is through the tailgate, while the roof is designed to be manoeuvrable and slides to the rear to open. The Audi urban concept rides on 21 inch wheels.
The technology in the Audi urban concept reflects the full capabilities of the brand, especially when it comes to ultra-lightweight construction. The cockpit consists of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP), which integrates the undercarriage of both seats.
Will we see it make production? Who knows. The Renault Twizzy EV seemed an unlikely concept to make production and yet is for sale right now in the UK for under £7,000. Let’s wait to see what more Audi reveals next month at the Frankfurt motor show.