30 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW: Audi A2 Concept
Audi A2


Electric-only and with seating for four, it’s the Audi A2 Concept

Audi will offer visitors to next week’s Frankfurt motor show yet another peek into the future of EV mobility when it unveils the A2 Concept.

As predicted months ago, the first pictures of Audi’s A2 concept car confirm the designers have stayed true to the profile of the much-loved original.

The A2 concept, which will make its debut at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, will definitely make it into production in 2013 as either a full electric car or a range-extender series hybrid.

The four-seat concept car is the pride of Wolfgang Egger’s design team and has been penciled by Q5 and A8 designer, Chris Winkelmann, to be a logical contemporary interpretation of the original A2 from 1999.

At 3.8 metres long, it’s 26mm shorter than the original, which is so strong in European second-hand car markets that sellers feel free to demand the new-car price, even though it was a sales flop and its production life was curtailed prematurely in 2005.

Part of the reason for its sustained popularity was fuel economy, with the three-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol versions posting 3.0-litre/100km economy, though it’s the 1.4-litre petrol versions that are most prized as used cars. Another is ease of parking, because it was only 1.52 metres wide, while its high roofline made it easy to get in and out of, particularly for women in dresses and skirts. For all that, though, the new car has grown 17mm wider, to 1.69 metres, and is 63mm lower as well.

The mistake we made with the A2 was only that we were four or five years too early with it, a senior Audi source admitted.

It was very high tech, with a full aluminium space frame chassis, like we use in the R8, but we tried to pull the market towards paying for a premium city car when it wasn’t quite ready for it.

It’s different today, there are other competitors out there who have proven you can charge for this style of car, like MINI, for example, and we will keep the next A2 as a very high-tech machine so people know what they will pay for.

One of the things they will pay for is electric technology, and the feeling inside Audi is that the A2 could grow into its own family of electric cars based off this custom-made architecture.

While Audi is clearly dabbling with a range of electric prototypes ranging from the fully electric R8 e-tron, the range-extender A1 e-tron and the Q5 Hybrid, the A2 is planned to be its premium city car and its first full production electric vehicle. Although Audi has told us the car is electrically powered, specification details have not yet been announced.

The concept car’s basic shape is likely to carry over into production, according to senior Audi sources, though a lot of the tricky light detailing will need to wait for a later model.

That detailing is lead by a next-generation LED system, dubbed Matrix Technology, that uses higher-tech reflectors that Audi claim produce a non-glaring beam of light. The tail lights are also active, so they intensify or lower their light levels depending on the ambient conditions. They are capable of producing a sufficiently high-intensity beam to double as fog lights.

Audi A2

There is also a body-length light, which also serves to highlight the A2 Concept’s waist line, and it acts as a full-length side indicator and can also flow pulses of light forward to show the car’s level of braking intensity under different situations.

The A2 also scores a clever dark glass roof that turns transparent at the push of a button. Inside, there is a fully flat floor, not unlike the Mercedes-Benz A- or B-Class, and seating for four adults, with a full-length console and storage space beneath the rear seats.

There’s even a city-bike option, where a foldable city bike can slot in between the rear seats (once you’ve removed its front wheel). There’s also a dual-level luggage area, which can effectively double the storage space for smaller items but can be easily folded to the side for larger luggage.

Most of the car’s systems are controlled by three touch-screen panels, via a seven-inch main display and two secondary displays that flank it.

— with staff

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Published. Wednesday, 7 September 2011

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