Audi might have not chosen the best name for its new range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, but it certainly knows how to cause a stir in downtown Berlin.
Spotted posing for photographs in the center of Berlin earlier this week is what we can only assume is Audi’s City e-tron.
Unlike the city cars we’ve seen from rival firms BMW and General Motors, Audi’s take on modern urban electric transport favors the tandem two-seat arrangement which sees the passenger sit directly behind the driver. This makes the overall car much thinner and increases driver visibility thanks to a centralized driving position. It also reduces frontal area, which along with the tall, thin tires, helps improve areodynamics to reduce drag and improve energy efficiency.
While Audi’s concept -- complete with wrap-around panoramic front windshield -- is wearing a swirling camouflage body-wrap designed to confuse the eye and the camera, its Audi badge and distinctive headlights are clearly visible.
But spy-shots, and a few interesting YouTube videos tell us all we need to know: Audi is working on an all-electric pod car which certainly offers more protection from the elements than Renault’s crazy Twizy urban electric vehicle.
It looks better too, like a cross between a single-seat race car and a wingless airplane.
If Audi really didn’t want people taking spy-shots or video footage of its new concept ahead of its rumored unveiling at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, it probably wouldn’t have sent the City E-Tron to a packed plaza in the middle of Berlin.
In other words, Audi knew that the diminutive concept would draw both a crowd in real life, and lead a frenzy of interest online too. All for free, and perfectly timed for next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Nice one Audi. How about you show us what this concept can do?