Volkswagen has its NILS concept, and now Audi has its own city car concept. Officially dubbed a 1+1, the "urban concept" - that's with no capitalization, as is increasingly trendy among automakers - is designed to combine the elements of a driver-oriented performance car with the small proportions necessary for city drivers.
Its proportions are certainly unique; a tiny front overhang is offset by a negative rear overhang. Like the R8 performance car, the urban concept boasts a contrasting sideblade.
But that's about where the R8 tie-ins stop. Underneath its minimalist roadster and coupe-style bodies, the urban concept features two e-tron electric motors and a lithium ion battery. A rear-mounted 20 horsepower brushless electric motor propels the rear wheel drive concepts to an electronically limited top speed of 62 mph, while range is quoted at 31-37 miles.
To keep weight to a minimum, the concept makes extensive use of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. Audi claims the urban concept, which is 5.5 inches wider and 13.3 inches lower than the Smart Fortwo, will weight under 1,100 pounds.
No word on production plans, but a city runabout like the urban concept is likely in the coming years.
Live images by Mark Elias