Audi Urban Concept Car
It will be interesting to see what people at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show think of the Audi Urban Concept. Car manufacturers, and Audi is no exception, seem to think that, to drum up excitement at these shows, they must come up with designs that would never sell in the real world. There are some sound ideas at work here though, and even some design philosophies in the sketches that could iron out of if you modified a few things. Of course, the 21 inch wheels which don’t appear to wear tires, the sliding cockpit canopy roof, and other such real world impossibilities would have to go.
What is good, however, is the cycle fender wheel covers, and clean sheet, light weight design. I also like the ribbon over the car that is an apparent nod to the R8. Other things, like the seating positions are a little hokey. The passenger seat resides a few inches back from the drivers, á la the VW XL1 concept, presumably to allow for shoulder space in an otherwise cramped quarters, but like other manufacturers who are doing similar things including tandem seating, e.g. Renault Twizzy, they seem to forget that humans are social creatures, we like to talk, or at least see each other. On the other hand, these being urban roundabouts perhaps the drive is just short enough that we can do without each other for the time being.
The Urban Concept utilizes carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the chassis, with the bucket seats molded in, further evidence that carbon is not just for looks and supercars anymore. The drivetrain is all electric, as you have no doubt guessed, and incorporates two “e-tron” motors, whether these are the same motors as those from the high powered e-tron concept is unknown. In fact, any and all information regarding performance is still under wraps for now.
Audi is on a roll lately, releasing car after car, a small around town electric would make sense and a great addition to the stable. The Urban Concept in particular could fill that niche, and do so handsomely. There is a masculinity and quality to this car that many others seem to lack.
I for one am looking forward to the 2011 Frankfurt show in September. I’ll be paying attention when Audi pulls the sheet off of this one, as there are plenty of questions surrounding the car. It’ll be interesting to see Audi fill in the blanks.
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