Every auto show features a concept car or several. Concept cars are important, because they give us a sneak peak at the car company’s design and technology direction, and the reaction of the media and the public can determine whether the concept gets put into overdrive, or parked in the garage and forgotten.
Here’s what Audi and Land Rover are unveiling at the all-important Frankfurt Auto Show in September 2011 —
Audi Urban Concept EV—
This is an ultra-light two-seater car for congested urban spaces. The passenger sits behind — not next to — the driver, as on a motorcycle, but this one has four wheels and doors. Audi says the Urban Concept combines elements of a racing car, a fun car and an urban car into one radical new concept. In addition to a Sportback model, Audi is also presenting a Spyder variant with doors that open diagonally to the top, something like the iconic Mercedes-Benz gullwing design.
The 21″ wheels are free-standing, their surrounding protective plates feature blinking strips of LED lights. The Urban Concept is powered by two Audi e-tron electric motors and a lithium-ion battery.
- Audi introduced an electric version of its best-selling R8 sports car at the Frankfurt Auto Show two years ago, and response to the Audi E-Tron was so positive that Audi put it into production.
Land Rover DC100 —
This is an updated and more upscale version of the tough and iconic Land Rover Defender, and it may or may not be brought to North America when it goes into production in 2015. So there’s plenty of time to make changes to the design and marketing plan.
- This is the second new Land Rover introduced recently. The Land Rover Evoque is the lightest and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever produced, and smaller than its siblings. It was so well received when it was introduced earlier this year that Land Rover is putting it into production for 2012, with a 240hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
by Evelyn Kanter