Audi's small city car is highly likely to be electrically powered and houses passengers in tandem

This tiny vehicle, scooped in central Berlin this weekend ahead of its Frankfurt motor show reveal, is apparently an official Audi concept car.

It was being filmed on the busy Potsdamer Platz in full view of the public and despite being covered in elaborate disguise, the Audi badge was visible.

Witnesses say the vehicle was near-silently self-propelling and highly likely to be electrically powered.

The tiny cabin accommodates two passengers in tandem formation. Apart from that, little else is known about the car.

However, the VW Group has long experimented with two-seater vehicles, notably the 2002 1-litre Concept and the 2009 L1 super-efficient concept cars, which used diesel and diesel-hybrid drivetrains.

VW also showed the open-cabin, three-wheeler GX3 concept in 2009, which used motorcycle technology.

German manufacturers - including Messerschmitt and BMW’s Isetta - have an illustrious history of tiny ‘bubble cars’, which used basic motorcycle technology and enclosed cabins to get a war-torn nation back on the road after WW2.

If Audi is going to test the market with an electric urban vehicle, it will be part of a rising trend. BMW has already revealed that it is going to launch an electrically powered scooter and join a booming market for urban mobility that is predicted to reach 30-million units of electric and ICE scooters annually by the middle of the decade.

Vehicles such as Renault’s roofed four-wheel Twizy electric scooter are also predicted to become a success in the West because of their suitability for urban commuting and low price compared to conventional battery-powered cars.

Read our first drive review of the Renault Twizy

This concept could show that Audi is seriously considering creating a ‘premium’ electric commuting car, but one that would be in stark contrast with the company’s regular line-up.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer