Make / Model Search

Future models - Audi - A2

Frankfurt show: New Audi A2 revealed

Two to go: Audi’s all-new A2 should look a lot like the all-electric Frankfurt show concept seen here.

Audi goes for BMW’s i3 jugular with its all-electric A2 premium compact concept

7 Sep 2011

TRUE to its word, Audi has dusted off the A2 nameplate not seen since the all-aluminium original was discontinued in Europe six years ago for this futuristic city-car concept that will be the Ingolstadt car-maker’s answer to BMW’s ground-breaking i3 at next week’s Frankfurt motor show.

Continuing the tallboy proportions of its 1999-2005 namesake yet appearing just as modern as the sketches that previewed it a week ago, the five-door A2 concept belies its position within Audi’s alphanumeric model naming hierarchy by being smaller than the three-door A1 hatchback that currently opens Audi’s range from $27,300.

In fact, although it is one size up from Japan’s sub-3.5-metre ‘kei cars’, at just 3800mm long, 1690mm wide and 1490mm high the A2 “technical study” is a whole 154mm shorter and 50mm narrower than the A1, while being more than 70mm taller.

With the 284mm difference in length between the A1 (3954mm) and the 4238mm A3 three-door, which was discontinued here in March to make way for the A1, Audi appears to have plenty of room to introduce a five-door A1 Sportback, just as the production A2 could spawn an even shorter three-door body style.

Significantly, the A2 concept is also slightly shorter than BMW’s all-new i3 electric and hybrid-powered hatch, which is 3845mm long - but much narrower and lower – and will hit European roads in 2013 – the same year the production A2 is expected to hit showrooms.

Despite its compact dimensions, Audi says the A2 is a “premium standard space concept that offers plenty of room for four people”, matching the i3 - although it comes with four conventional doors rather than a pair of opposed 'coach' doors on each side like the i3.

Like BMW’s first EV, which will break new ground by featuring a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) modular body, the A2 concept will also appear at Frankfurt with a purely electric powertrain, which Audi describes only as a “powerful electric drive system for agile performance and long range”.

7 center imageIn fact, Audi has provided few hard details for the A2, which will be joined in Frankfurt by debuts of the all-new pint-size Urban Concept commuter vehicle, the A8 Hybrid limousine and fire-breathing new S6, S7 and S8 performance flagships.

Instead, it said the white-painted A2 concept features a dark glass roof that becomes transparent at the push of a button and next-generation ‘matrix beam’ LED headlights which comprise a package of LEDs and micro-reflectors that are said to generate a high-resolution and non-glaring high-beam light.

The show car’s LED low-beam lights are framed by “delicate daytime running light fibres”, while intelligent tail-lights adapt their illumination according to available visibility conditions and the laser-diode rear foglight projects both a beam of light in fog and a red triangle onto the road.

Audi’s lighting trickery continues with a dynamic light that runs below the glasshouse from front to rear on both sides of the car and is claimed to perform a number of innovative functions.

The German luxury giant says ‘gesture control’ unlocks the doors via integrated approach sensors that detect the car’s owner, while the dynamic light act as a “continuous side marker light”, shooting light impulses around the car when an indicator is activated.

At the rear, a red bar of light flows forward from the tail-lights during braking to reveal the level of deceleration to other drivers, while two separate arches of dynamic lights are located in the cockpit area, which contains a variety of touch-sensitive controls on the inside of the steering wheel.

A seven-inch display and two secondary screens reside in the centre of the steering wheel, while two further control surfaces fold up to the driver’s right (in the left-hand drive concept) when the vehicle is started.

The centre console is attached to the driver’s seat and extends rearwards between the twin rear seats, which feature fold-up seat bases to reveal storage underneath, allowing for a completely flat interior floor and room for a bicycle (without its front wheel) between the rear seats.

Apart from obligatory aluminium interior highlights, Audi says the A2 show car’s interior features door skins made from polyurethane with a neoprene surface feel, while the central floor area is trimmed in a ribbed material made from recycled polyester and the seat shells are made with a plastic blow-moulding technique.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram
Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here