Audi will unveil a brand new concept at the Frankfurt motor show. It won’t be a sleek hi-tech limousine like the A8, a big off-roader like the Q7, or a sharp supercar like the R8. It will be much more mundane, and practical for city use. Audi’s calling it the Urban Concept. It’s a very small zero-emission, electric 2-seater. Quite low to make it sporty, it doesn’t have doors. What it has instead is an upper part of the passenger compartment that can slide backwards.
Driver and passenger do not sit side by side, the passenger is slightly behind, in a staggered arrangement to reduce width, and make the car as narrow as possible for congested city use.
Yet, the most surprising fact about this Urban Concept is that it’s totally different from anything Audi has ever built. Compared to Audi production models, nothing could be further apart than this little Urban Concept.
It uses a lot of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) to make it lightweight, but I wonder where it would fit inside an Audi dealership. I’m sure we shouldn’t worry about that before at least 2020.
As someone who lives in an urban environment and as such has no driveway or garage and has to jostle for a spot on the curb every day, I can say that finding a charge point for an electric car on a day to day basis would be pretty much impossible. Also, this car’s going to be hard to drive with wheels that are incapable of turning, also the low pros are probably very bad for the urban potholes and speedbumps I encounter every day.
Otherwise, I like it.
It helps to be realistic about eco-cars. They ought to be affordable, and they have to look good. Two aspects which are missing all too often, don’t you think? It is the reason why I started working on my so-called Space-Efficient Vehicle. Or SEV. You may also call it New Isetta. After the New Mini, Fiat 500 and Beetle you may see it as the last of the iconic small cars which is still missing a successor…