Audi Releases Sketches of “Urban Concept” Ahead of Frankfurt Debut

By Jacob Brown | August 09, 2011
These days, what’s big happens to be small, and Audi looks like it’s going to catch up with the times with its urban concept seen here. A radical departure from anything Audi has ever made, the electric-powered concept sports a 1+1 seating arrangement that puts the driver in a staggered position slightly ahead of the sole passenger riding along.
Made of lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, the urban concept is an exercise in minimalism, focusing on weight reduction and sporty dynamics. According to Audi, the urban concept provides the elements of “a racing car, a roadster, a fun car and an urban car into one radical new concept.” Passengers maneuver entry and exit by sliding the roof/tailgate open, a one-piece design for maintaining simplicity.
As for its looks, the urban concept mixes and matches Audi design cues like red “blades” on each side borrowed from the Audi R8 sports car that punctuate the narrow body and LED headlights and tail lights like the ones on bigger cars carrying the four-ring badge. The wheels, however, are freestanding and each of them features LED strips for safety.
Meanwhile, the interior is all-new with a modern design, focused on providing a lightweight, utilitarian atmosphere to maximize the driving experience. While prototypes have been spotted testing, these sketches give us the best glimpse of how it will look when it goes on stage at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Our take: While the urban concept has potential in tight environments, we imagine it would probably get crushed by a taxi in New York City, or have a wheel knocked off by an insensible heiress driving her Bentley on a Los Angeles freeway. We like the idea, but question its real-world practicality. Source: Audi