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Audi E1 e-tron city concept in Berlin +video

Tue, 09 Aug 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Audi E1 e-Tron in the Potsdamer Platz

Did Clive Sinclair get in to bed with Audi? Are the progeny of Fend Flitzer lurking in the bowels of Audi Towers?

We ask because the latest Audi e-Tron Concept (the Audi E1, perhaps?) which rolled out of the back of a van in the Potsdamer Platz looks for all the world like the result of a mating between a Messerschmitt and a Sinclair C5.

For those too young to know, the C5 was an electric scooter designed by Sir Clive Sinclair in the 1980s and hailed as the transport of the future. Sadly for Sir Clive it was probably an idea before its time; an idea constrained by the technology of the 1980s.

The Messerschmitt, on the other hand, was a car entirely of its time. A small, two seater car (tandem seating) built by the Messerschmitt plane company after we forbade them from making planes after the second world war.

They turned their hands to building the cheap and cheerful Messerschmitt car to provide transport for a broken and impoverished German population. And we bought a shed-load too. But all that only lasted until Europe recovered financially from the war and lost interest in the bubble car from Messerschmitt.

But it looks like Audi plans to take us back to the wants of post-war Europe with this latest concept, which they obviously intended the world to see by rolling it out in the busy Potsdamer Platz – akin to unloading it and pushing it round Leicester Square.  Another ‘official’ spy video, in effect.

We can but assume that Audi see this return to the austerity transport of the 1940s and 1950s as a necessity in the 21st century. A premium version of the Messerschmitt with a pile of batteries and an electric motor for middle-class commuters with a green halo to polish.

And there could be a market for this weird hybrid transport. In many ways it could be seen as potentially filling a transport need little else does.

But the idea of running round town in a Messerschmitt with leather seats, an electric motor and an Audi E1 e-Tron badge on the back does seem a bit peculiar.


By Cars UK