Unveiled Sunday at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi’s Urban concept electric car with wireless charging is the answer to the question: “How much car is necessary to deliver driving pleasure and urban mobility in an entirely new way?”
Audi says the 1,058-pound (480-kg) vehicle is not based on any previous automotive category or Audi concept and “combines elements of a racing car, a fun car and an urban car into one radical new concept.”
It uses two 20-horsepower (15-kw) e-tron electric motors paired between the rear single-ratio-driven wheels delivering about 35 pound-feet (47 Nm) of torque.
The 7.1 kWh li-ion battery is transversely mounted behind the seats and weighs 198.5 pounds (90 kg).
Performance is said to be 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in 16.9 seconds. It gets to 37 mph (60 kph) in 6.9 seconds. Its European drive cycle range is 45 miles (73 mph).
Recharge time from 230-volt European house current is about an hour, and this time can reportedly be cut to 20 minutes when 400-volt, three-phase current is applied.
What’s more, the concept uses Audi Wireless Charging (AWC), a form of contactless induction charging.
The infrastructure side includes a coil and an inverter (AC/AC converter) placed on the Audi’s parking location – at home for now, and Audi is working on solutions for parking garages and more. A 3.6-kw primary coil set into the plate generates a high-frequency alternating field activated when the vehicle parks in place.
How does it work?
“The alternating magnetic field of the infrastructure side induces an alternating current across the air gap in the secondary coil, which is integrated into the vehicle. This current is rectified and fed into the vehicle’s electrical system, where it charges the battery or powers consumers such as the heater. The alternating field is only generated if the vehicle is standing over the plate and thus poses no danger to people or animals.
The car’s shell material is carbon-fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), and the occupant shell is a mix of aluminum and CFRP monocoque.
Suspension is wishbone-type made from CFRP and aluminum to position the 21-inch free-standing wheels. Tire sizes are unique also at 125/60 in front and 145/50 in the rear.
Atop the fenders are innovative LED strips used as more conspicuous turn signal/marker lights.
“The highly concentrated look of the technical study, with its forward-urging lines, is dynamic and emotional – it lends Audi’s design language a completely new impetus,” Audi says.
The suspension mounts the struts like some racecars in a nearly horizontal fashion connected by pushrods. Four discs do the stopping duties.
Getting in and out of it is just about as novel.
The vehicle’s cabin offers slightly offset seating for two with a roof that slides back for entry.
Audi says without great flexibility required, driver and passenger step into the door-less vehicle much like you would a bathtub. To make it even more fun to drive, the sliding roof on the coupe can remain open in good weather.
Sitting in the car is said to be somewhat like sitting in an airplane cockpit. The driver can precisely adjust the positions of the aluminum pedals and steering column with both components being telescoping for a custom driving position.
Although driver and passenger sit next to one another, the right seat is offset to the rear by 11.81 inches (30 cm) to provide shoulder and elbow room. To save weight, the seats are fixed, integral components of the monocoque and covered with foam custom-fabricated to the customer’s measurements. The seat belts run through cutouts in the seat backs.
The turning circle is less than 29.5 feet (nine meters) for maneuvering in tight city environments. No power assist is required for the rack-and-pinion steering.
Audi says safety has been as studiously thought out as the rest of the car, with crumple zones in front and rear as well as two airbags to create a high degree of passive safety.
Included is an electronic assist to aid the driver in avoiding accidents with pedestrians.