Mark Adams and Rita Forst thought there would be nothing else at Frankfurt like their tiny, bubble canopied, tandem two-seat electric concept.
The pair, Opel’s design chief and GM Europe’s engineering boss, were wrong about the RAK e. Two other brands, it turned out, are thinking along very similar lines.
Volkswagen had the Nils, a slim, single-seat battery car, like the RAK e capable of keeping up with (right lane) autobahn traffic. Next door, Audi had both closed and topless versions of its electric powered Urban Concept, with a pair of staggered and offset seats.
The Volkswagen was easily the most realistic and resolved of the trio. Sitting in the Nils was like being in the cockpit of something with wings, not wheels, yet with elegant double A-arm suspension all round and very direct unassisted steering it clearly has the basics for a wonderfully agile and responsive drive.
Both Adams and Forst say Opel are seriously studying building something like the RAK e. Presumably Volkswagen and Audi are doing likewise.
Judging by these Frankfurt concepts, Europe’s increasing interest compact, light and affordable electro-mobility may spawn some of the near future’s coolest little cars.