How much car does the city man need? Recently this question has been answered ideologically. For example with "none at all" or, as part of the climate countermovement, with "an SUV".
There were already much smarter answers from car manufacturers. At the IAA 2011, Audi, Opel and VW presented three vehicles developed for the city, of which the Audi Urban Concept made the most mature and most interesting impression. The study has "the potential to become the trendsetter of a new mobility," enthused an Audi spokesman at that time. It was said that the car was "more than a thought game" and "intended for the near future".
As you know today, these statements were PR junk. The Audi Urban Concept - as well as the other two narrow-gauge studies of the fair, the Opel Rak-e and the VW Nils - fell into oblivion immediately after the fair in Frankfurt.
The most important function of the Ingolstadt city two-seater was apparently already fulfilled at the IAA: Among other things, the Audi Urban Concept should draw attention from the electric car i3 Concept, the Audi rival BMW presented at the IAA 2011 for the first time.
Apart from the marketing games, the Audi study was in many ways a successful concept: With a body made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, with two electric motors (total power 15 kW / 20 hp) and a lithium-ion battery in the underbody.
It was about the principles of "lightweight construction, efficiency and reduction," it said at Audi at that time. The pulpit of the high-tech cabin scooter could be moved backwards when the driver and passenger wanted to get in or out. The two seats were offset at an angle to each other to keep the format as slim as possible. In the rear there was a drawer for luggage and at the four corners of the vehicle 21-inch wheels, in the covers LED strip lights were incorporated.
A glider model as a source of inspiration
Visually, the Audi Urban Concept followed a line that could be called modern minimalism. Back then, the Ingolstadt-based designers spread the legend that the model of a glider in the studio was for inspirational purposes. With a format of 3.20 meters in length, 1.70 meters in width and 1.20 meters in height, the required space was significantly smaller than other small cars. Nevertheless, the study carried some typical features for the brand, such as the bulky single-frame grille on the vehicle nose or the jagged designed headlights.
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Unique !: The most bizarre concept cars
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The racing car associations, which triggered the concept car solely by the issued wheels, were at best optical nature. As top speed Audi gave 100 km / h, as reach 60 kilometers. For a city car, these are far from sufficient values, you just could not be misled by the appearance of the car to false expectations.
A lightweight vehicle with 480 kilograms empty weight
Audi had chosen the data deliberately, because the car corresponded to the specifications of a light vehicle after the EU class L7e. Vehicles of this class, such as quads, are allowed to carry a maximum of 15 kW and weigh 400 kilograms, although the battery is not included in the curb weight for e-vehicles. The Audi Urban Concept with 15 kW power and 480 kg empty weight including battery met the specifications. Like, incidentally, the minimal electric vehicle Renault-Twizy, which came onto the German market in the spring of 2012. It is so far the only mobile of this blank, which is offered as a production model.
In any case, the Audi Urban Concept failed to make the leap from a different show-looker to a production vehicle. Even a second, open convertible version of the study changed nothing. This would probably have required a massive public demand. Today, the Audi Urban Concept is parked in the historic collection of the brand in Ingolstadt. Almost as a reminder of how one had imagined the future of urban private transport in 2011.
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