Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Next-Gen Audi A2 Returning in 2015 With Aluminum Body

Audi A2

It was never sold in the United States, but the Audi A2 was once a very lightweight small car sold overseas. Available from late 1999 through 2005, the A2 employed an aluminum spaceframe and managed to keep the curb weight below 2000 pounds (for certain models anyway). Now, and after much speculation, it’s coming back in 2015, and Automobile has the scoop on the upcoming car.


If the A2 is coming to the United States, it’ll do so primarily to help with CAFÉ requirements. Now scheduled to ride on Volkswagen’s MQB chassis (shared with the next Golf), the 2015 A2 will have an aluminum five-door body and keep to the lightweight mission. This time around, it won’t have the aluminum spaceframe.

Sans aluminum frame, Audi hopes they’ll sell more A2s compared to the last model. Just 175,000 total were sold in the first run, a small figure considering the European market favors small cars. Automobile says the new car will weigh less than 2400 pounds and is ready to meet the mark by using composite materials for the body panels and thinner glass. The battery, alternator, and air-conditioning compressor will be downsized to keep the weight down.

While the first A2 scored around 80 mpg on the European test cycle over 10 years ago, the new car will be under pressure to produce a similar number despite slight bodily growth. Unlike its predecessor, the impending A2 will get five seats versus four, and is planned to be wider with more interior space for the occupants. The gas and diesel engines will be small, and electric and plug-in hybrid variants are in the planner too. According to development boss Michael Dick, the A2 EV should surpass 150 miles on a charge. The plug-in version is expecting to travel 40 to 60 miles on battery alone.

The A2 was well-regarded for its aerodynamic efficiency and the new version will be no different. Styling will take after the original, but air curtains, wind deflectors, and a single-frame front grille from the E-tron line are expected to help clean up airflow. Unfortunately, we can only wait for more news, though 2015 isn’t as far away as we think…

Source: Automobile