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Old 08-08-2011, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Audi City eTron Concept - Spy Shots

Audi builds eco-themed dune buggy for the urban jungle. See it here before it's 2012 Frankfurt Auto Show unveil.

By Nick Kurczewski / Photos by KGP Photography
August 8, 2011

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With the City eTron Concept, Audi has managed to give a small city car with eco-car underpinnings the fun attitude of a dune buggy. At least that’s our take on the German automaker’s new City eTron Concept, captured by our spy photographers while being maneuvered along city sidewalks in Berlin. The City eTron features a tandem-seat configuration, skinny wheels that stand separate from its cockpit-like body, and a large wraparound windscreen. Special kudos to Audi’s design team for being able to graft the corporate front-end—with sleek mini grille and LED headlights—onto such a tiny vehicle.

eTron Family Tree
The design bears a passing resemblance to the 2009 Volkswagen L1 concept, though the Volkswagen had a much sleeker appearance and a diesel-powered hybrid powertrain. In fact, the L1 traces its roots back to the VW 1-Liter concept, which appeared back in 2002. Powered by a 1-cylinder diesel engine, the 1-Liter was capable of returning well over 200 mpg.

Volkswagen L1 Concept—Photo by John Lamm

So will the City eTron be a full electric, or offer the next step in VW Group’s hybrid technology? It’s hard to know for certain, since recent eTron-badged concepts have ranged from 4-wheel-drive electric supercars to pint-size plug-in hybrids. The most recent example, the eTron Spyder, was a low-slung roadster powered by a mid-mounted 300-bhp twin-turbo V-6 diesel and two electric motors.
Our guess is that Audi has nestled a small-displacement diesel and supplementary electric motor/s into the tiny City eTron. If that’s the case, expect a mind-blowing economy figure—no easy feat, given the impressive economy numbers posted by the VW 1-Liter Concept almost one decade ago. Anyone else think “300 mpg” has a nice ring to it?
We’ll know more about this wacky concept—and if it has a serious shot at production—when it makes its debut in September at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.

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Old 08-08-2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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VW L1 is sleek and cool.

The Audi thing looks like a garage construction, with no design consideration at all. Nevermind that the un-faired wheels are completely un-aerodynamic, and anywhere in an urban setting that would suit this low-speed vehicle, you might as well use public transit, and not have to park or charge the thing anywhere.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:24 AM   #3
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I like it.

Give it meatier tires and a TDI engine and it would be perfect.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:52 AM   #4
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I'd buy one for my commute!
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