If you travel a lot, especially to developing countries, you will be familiar with the sometimes ingenious ways they have come up to solve their urban transport problems. In India and Thailand they have three-wheel tuk-tuks, which is basically a little buggy with a motor-cycle engine that can carry two passengers. In the Philippines it is the trishaw - a motorbike with a two-seater side car that usually has a cab of some sorts.
In the West we have so far clung to vehicles that are often highly impractical for urban use: monster-SUVs, V8 sedans and even minibuses. Often it is possible to see one of these carrying only one passenger.
Rising fuel costs and the realisation that we have to do something to curb the tide of pollution is slowly causing a re-think in our automotive industry. Hardly a week goes by without some or other manufacturer announcing a new electric car or one running on alternative fuel.
The latest to come up with a solution to crowded urban streets is Audi. The company's E-tron buggy was recently spied in Germany, ahead of its launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Although heavily camouflaged, one could clearly see the distinctive four-ring Audi badge on the grille of the tiny two-seater.
The silence with which it moved indicates an all-electric power source. The passenger seat is situated back and to the side of the driver. The car seems to have been stripped of all unnecessary weight and it has obviously been designed for maximum aerodynamics.
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