Mike Stevens | Aug 29, 2011

Audi has released images and details of its electrified Urban and Urban Spyder concepts this week, following the release of teaser artwork earlier this month.

Existing in a separate universe to the brand's "e-tron" range, Audi says the focus of the Urban project is on lightweight construction rather than powertrain innovation.

Although pedestrian safety laws mean we're unlikely to see the Urban's open-wheel design on the road, the concepts are design experiments from Audi, possibly pointing to future styling directions.

How much of the Urban's styling themes will make the transition to future models remains to be seen, although the swept-back triangular headlights and sharp character lines are sure to preview upcoming production features.

In the cabin, driver and passenger seats are molded into the body, and the driver can adjust the pedal and steering wheel positions to suit.

As for the oddly-spaced Caparo T1-like seats, Audi says the intent there is to ensure that both occupants are afforded plenty of space while giving the vehicle an incredibly narrow design.

Only a little larger than the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the Urban concepts are built on a carbon-fibre monocoque design - Audi claims a kerb weight of under 500kg.

Power for the racey concepts is provided by a pair of 15kW brushless electric motors, mounted over and driving the rear wheels. Energy comes from a lithium-ion battery pack and, to preserve power, top speed is limited to 100km/h.

The concept's driving range is listed at around 60 kilometres off one charge - restricing the Urban to its urban boundaries.

Watch for the Urban concepts to make their global debut at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.

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