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by Tim Beissmann

Following yesterday’s video footage of what looked like a city friendly dune buggy from Audi, the German manufacturer has released official sketches of the vehicle ahead of its debut at the next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Known simply as the Audi Urban Concept, the compact roller-skate is a 1+1 ultra-light electric vehicle designed for the congested urban environment.

Audi had three key principles in mind when designing the Urban Concept: lightweight construction, efficiency and reduction.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery and driven by two e-tron electric motors, Audi says the Urban Concept is perfect for extended city tours and exudes “the pure essence of sporty motion”.

The emotional, dynamic design focuses on forward-urging lines, taking Audi’s current design language to a new level.

Unfortunately, the ground-hugging vehicle from the sketches has been lost in the physical concept, which sits higher off the ground and loses much of its aggression.

The cockpit is constructed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer, integrating the undercarriage of both seats. The seats themselves are staggered for a sporty setup, while the steering wheel and pedals can be adjusted for the ultimate driver-focused cabin.


Audi says entry to the car is via the tailgate, while the roof is manoeuvrable and slides open to the rear.

The Audi Urban Concept is an intriguing prospect and one that will no doubt cause a stir at the Frankfurt show, which kicks off on September 13.