Johnson Controls International, a major supplier of interiors and technology including batteries, unveiled the ie:3. The clever bit of the car its next-generation prismatic battery, packed with 216 cells, 6 inches deep. This allows for a completely flat floor, said Michael Warsaw, vice president, industrial design for JCI's auto unit.

The front passenger and rear seats - which are raised stadium style in normal use - fold down, allowing for a variety of seating options; the rear seats will also recline by 45 degrees.

The ‘ie' stands for "inspired efficiency" and the company says that its features will be adaptable to markets around the world and available by 2014 for model year 2015 vehicles.

Other features include a front-seat armrest, movable centre console parts, more natural seat fabrics, audio speakers in the ceiling and a nine-inch glass display screen that emerges from the top of the instrument panel to give driver  information with minimum eye movement.

"With the ie:3, we wanted to provide interior and battery solutions for smaller, fuel efficient vehicles without compromising functionality, comfort or spaciousness," said JCI's Beda Bolzenius.