Audi has unveiled the Urban Concept, a two-seat tandem electric city car characterised by open wheels and a huge, gaping grille.

The German has drawn first blood on the big unveils by releasing its star the day before the Frankfurt motor show officially begins.

Two versions of the Urban Concept have gone on display: a coupé with a sliding roof and an open-topped Spyder version. Both have the same 'one plus one' cabin layout, though the coupé's roof slides backwards and can remain open while driving.

Aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic are used extensively for both body and chassis, meaning the Urban Concept weighs the motoring equivalent of Victoria Beckham's left arm.

It's clearly designed for inner city use, though Audi claims it's as fun to drive as a sports car; those skinny, 21-inch wheels do look like they'll make its handling interesting.

In a shocking nod to convention, power comes from electricity stored inside a lithium-ion battery, feeding the juice to two small motors. Combined output: 20bhp and 35lb/ft.

The concept will hit 62mph in a horse and cart-bothering 16.9 seconds, and that mph figure also happens to be its top speed. It'll feel nippier than those stats suggest, though, because it can hit 37mph in just six seconds.

But its most impressive stats relate to its charging: an hour from a household socket, good for a 45-mile range. It can also fill with electricity wirelessly if driven onto a special plate.

No info on when, or even if, this thing will be made available to buy, but we're guessing it'll be a good few years yet.