Design Concept of the Day: Audi Urban Concept (again)

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Audi’s Urban Concept was unveiled last night at a pre-show preview event. The show car weighs 480kg, has a carbonfibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) body over a CRFP/aluminium monococque structure; the  wishbones suspending the freestanding 21-inch wheels are aluminium/CFRP as well. The wheels (also CFRP/aluminium) wear 125/60 tyres up front and 145/50s behind and have disc brakes all round; turning circle’s less than 9m, and no power steering is required. Safety kit includes two airbags and a pedestrian-avoidance warning; the battery’s mounted behind the seats, and the pair of motors deliver 20hp via a single-speed transmission driving the rear wheels.

It’ll do 0-62mph in 16.9 seconds, or o-37mph in six; top speed’s 62mph and range just 45 miles. Very much an urban commuter car, then, but usefully, it can be recharged fully in 20 min on a quick-charger or in about an hour from a standard 230-volt domestic supply.

The most interesting bit’s the wireless induction charging; Audi suggests that an AC/AC converter and coil can be fitted into a plate at the car’s usual parking space, connected to the grid and emitting a high-frequency AC field when the car is driven onto the plate. The car is thus charged via its integral secondary coil, which feeds into its battery. This system  – which could be retro-fitted in updated forms in garages, driveways and car parks – is also compatible with the A2 electric supermini concept (below) which Audi is also launching in Frankfurt.

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