New Concept Car: Volkswagen Nils

The Renault Twizy has started a trend. First came the Audi Urban Concept, which we'll learn more about in Frankfurt, and now VW has entered the fray with a tiny electric city car of its own.

The pod-like Volkswagen NILS, is the firm's vision of a commuter device for the future. With space for just one passenger its constructed entirely from aluminium, keeping weight down to 460kg, and uses an electric motor mounted behind the driver to power the rear wheels.

A small lithium-ion battery pack, rechargeable from the mains in just two hours, delivers a range of 40 miles. Thanks to the motor producing 34bhp and 130Nm of torque, the top speed is 80mph and 0-62mph is dispatched in less than 11 seconds. There's even an element of practicality, with a boot big enough for a small bag located above the drive unit.

Although entirely unique to look at, with its skinny 17-inch wheels and gullwing doors, the NILS has been designed as a recogniseable member of the VW family. The black surrounds to the front and rear bumpers, for example, mimic the up! (you can read our first drive of the city car here) but at 3.04m long, it's around 50cm shorter than the firm's new entry-level model.

Like the up!, it comes fitted with a City Emergency Braking system, which can apply the stoppers automatically at speeds below 20mph, and it features a removable sat-nav unit that's also used to control the radio, telephone and trip computer functions.

According to VW's research, based on German commuters, 74 per cent cover less than 30 miles a day and a whopping 90 per cent travel to work alone - making this the ideal tool for the job. Despite its compact dimensions, it fulfils all safety requirements for a vehicle of this type, so we could see a produciton version on the road sooner than you think. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express

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