Audi at last has a vehicle that will make BMW owners green with jealousy ± at least those who are prepared to deal with a slightly higher cost in return for driving a green car. Called the Urban Concept, the new Audi will be a direct rival to BMWs new «i series.
The car will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Its a radical new machine with semi-open wheels and its small enough to facilitate easy driving and parking under urban conditions.
Its also a fully electric car driven by two e-tron electric engines hidden in the 21-inch wheels. The lightweight body is constructed from a combination of carbon fibre reinforced polymer and aluminium, offering improved safety levels.
The cars aggressive appearance is said to provide a hint to the design of future Audis. The partly exposed wheels are emphasised by LED lights and the Urban Concept also utilises brake energy recuperation to provide the vehicle with a longer driving range.
The passenger shell is constructed from carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP), which partly uses technology borrowed from sister company Lamborghinis super car, the Aventador. The two seat bases have been moulded into the carbon fibre body and the steering wheel and pedals are adjustable.
Audi is adamant that the seating positions ± with the passenger sitting slightly behind the driver ± provide more than sufficient space while limiting cabin width to the minimum. Entrance to the car is gained by sliding back the large, single-piece roof.
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