Audi Offers Closer Look at Urban Concept

1+1-seater will be shown in coupe and roadster trim.

by on Aug.30, 2011

Two takes on the Audi Urban Concept theme: a roadster and a coupe.

Audi is offering up a closer look at the battery-powered Urban Concept vehicle it will formally reveal at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show – or, more precisely, the two Audi Urban Concepts it will plug in at next month’s automotive extravaganza.

The maker, it turns, out, has two versions of the unusual 1+1-seater design to reveal: a coupe and a roadster, both sharing the same e-tron battery drivetrain.

Drive on in!

The hotrod design, with its 21-inch outrigger wheels, is designed to give a sporty appearance to what is functionally an around-town commuter car.  The latest version of the e-tron drivetrain uses two electric motors drawing power from a lithium-ion battery pack.

But the styling is what is likely to draw crowds to the Audi stand.

Virtual reality? The Audi Urban Concept Coupe rendered against a cityscape.

Both versions of the Audi  Urban Concept are built of lightweight composites meant to help maximize range.  It appears Audi has lifted a page from its racing handbook, the cockpit is integrated into the basic carbon fibre-reinforced polymer body structure – even the undercarriage of both seats.

The seats are offset to permit a narrower and more aerodynamic body.  You actually enter the Urban Concepts through the tailgate.  And the canopy on the coupe can be rolled back to give a more convertible-like driving experience.

Audi suggests that a motorist has the ability to customize the driving experience, with an adjustable wheel, movable pedals and reconfigurable displays.

The Audi Urban Concept features an unusual 1+1 layout and a highly reconfigurable dashboard.

The Audi Urban Concept is the latest version in its e-tron series.  The maker has also shown a high-performance electric vehicle that looked like a slightly downsized version of the R8, as well as a plug-in hybrid model.

The maker appears to be formalizing plans for a line-up of high-mileage battery-based vehicles that could be positioned to go up against the new BMW i line-up, which will debut in 2013.  The Bavarian maker plans to launch the new sub-brand with the urban commuter i3 and more sporty i8, though recently reported that several other models are under development. (For more on that story, Click Here.)

Audi appears to be betting that there’s enough of a market to justify a shoot-out in the electric vehicle segment.

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