A 100m cordon was put in place when the auto was discovered near Banff Road, where suicide bomber Salman Abedi had visited in the days before the attack on Manchester Arena.
Police told Sky News they found the auto, a white Nissan, after an analysis of security cameras in the area showed Abedi nearby in the days leading up to the blast last month, which killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have asked anyone with information about the auto to come forward: "We are very interested in anything people can tell us about the movements of this vehicle, and who was in it, over the past months". "We have had police officers conducting house to house enquiries but we are still not satisfied why Abedi went there and its vital we understand exactly where he went there and who he spoke to in these final days before the attack".
University of Manchester students living in halls and rented accommodation in the area have been evacuated from their homes, as well as hundreds of people who have been evacuated from shops and businesses in the area, including the Ford Madox Brown Wetherspoons' and Lidl on Oxford Road, which are now closed.
Police have also recently released new CCTV images of Abedi carrying a large blue suitcase and are appealing for any information.
The developments came amid reports ticket scalpers were attempting to profit from the upcoming Ariana Grande concert to benefit victims.
Britain's Prince William has also been visiting the city this afternoon, he made a private visit to Manchester Children's Hospital to meet survivors.
"Manchester's strength and togetherness is an example to the world", he wrote in a book of condolence.
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Police had been trying to establish why Abedi went to the Banff Road area in Rusholme, where the auto was found.
Isaac and Abz Forjani, who were arrested and released without charge, expressed shock at Abedi's actions.
The constable said that the arena's foyer was a scene of "absolute devastation".
"I knew my daughter was in there somewhere", he said.
"It's not easy being connected to 22 lost, innocent lives", Isaac Forjani said.
He eventually met her in a hotel in the early hours of the morning. She had suffered a concussion and some crush injuries.
"And the fact that the person that did this is related to us by blood".
Chief of the Defense staff Stuart Peach said Thursday that roughly 1,000 military personnel had been deployed along with police as the terrorist threat was raised to "critical" after the attack that killed 22 people and injured dozens more.