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Audi reinvents the A2: the A2 e-tron (2013)
25 October 2010 10:23
Audi is reviving the A2 supermini in its quest to become the world’s number one premium car maker. Although not a commercial success, the original A2 was a car ahead of its time, with pioneering packaging and lightweight technology – and the new 2013 A2 will tread a similar path.
Why the original Audi A2 wasn’t the success story we all thought first time round
‘Contrary to popular belief, the A2 was not a cult car,’ maintains VW chairman Martin Winterkorn. ‘But it was a car ahead of its time. Why did it not sell in large enough numbers? Because buyers never really fell in love with the narrow and tall design. And because the bespoke high-tech aluminium spaceframe approach did not allow us to price the A2 sufficiently aggressively.’
Next time round, things are going to be different. The new Audi A2 MkII wears a dress made of steel and is part of Volkswagen’s entry-level New Small Family which is to be spread over four brands.
How the Audi A2 fits into Volkswagen’s masterplan
The next A2’s designated engines are low-cost high-efficiency three-cylinder units. While Seat and Skoda will to have make do with badge-engineered variants of the basic three- and five-door NSF matrix, Audi intends to modify the Space Up! microvan to meet its needs. Longer and taller, the Space Up! is remarkably similar in concept and appeal to the original A2.
‘With this car, Audi will offer a highly efficient solution to the
mobility requirements of the modern metropolis,’ promises Audi chairman Rupert Stadler. The new model is 3700mm long and can accommodate between 200 and 1000 litres of luggage, sources say. Due in 2013, the A2 is expected to be launched as battery-powered e-tron variant - the bonsai electric counterpart to the mighty 313bhp R8 e-tron earmarked for 2011.
Audi A2 e-tron: the lowdown
The zero-emission version, which features a 60bhp electric motor, a single-speed transmission and a pack of lithium-ion energy cells, is claimed to have a driving range of 60 miles.
In a second step, the A2 will likely be offered with a still-to-be-defined hybrid drivetrain. Also under preparation are a new family of three-cylinder engines with displacements of between 1.1 and 1.2 litres and with power outputs stretching from 60 to 75bhp.