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Audi A2 electric concept heads for Frankfurt

Fri, 02 Sep 2011

Audi A2 Concept EV - Frankfurt bound

The last Audi A2 was perhaps the only real failure for Audi in the last twenty years. But that hasn’t stopped them reviving the moniker and attaching it to a new concept heading to Frankfurt – the electric Audi A2 Concept.

Audi say the A2 concept has an electric-only powertrain, which sadly means they are not pursuing the elegant range-extender solution with a Wankel engine they showed in the A1 e-Tron at Geneva last year.

But, despite the A2 Concept being electric only, Audi say it will offer “…agile performance and a long range.” Is that per se, or just relative to any other mainstream electric car (if mainstream electric car can actually be used to describe any electric car) we wonder?

The ”…agile performance and a long range” statement is almost in passing, though, with Audi seemingly keener to tell us that the A2 Concept offers the next generation of LED lighting. The headlights are LED high resolution for main beams and high efficiency for low beams and the tail lights have laser-like diodes that project a beam of light and adapt to conditions. Whoopee-do.

The A2 also seems to be an odd fit in the Audi range as it’s smaller than the A1 yet, according to Audi, it offers ‘… plenty of room for four people’. The A1 struggles to offer plenty of room for four – well, four normal people – so how the A2 will do it with all those batteries it will need for ”…agile performance and a long range” is beyond us.

So all we actually know is that the A2 Concept is yet another pointless electric car that offers nothing new for anyone, except new lights and the promise of a stupid price tag if Audi are daft enough to bring it to market.

Please, enough with the electric car nonsense. Do something with a future.

(12 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

[EXPAND Click for Audi A2 Concept (2011) Press Release]

The Audi A2 concept – premium-class space concept

Plenty of room for four people within a length of just 3.80 meters

Matrix beam, dynamic light and an innovative, bright interior design

Powerful electric drive system for agile performance and long range

With the electric-only powertrain of the A2 concept, Audi is offering another peek into the future of electric mobility at the 64th International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. The technical study features a classic, premium-standard space concept that offers plenty of room for four people.

The Audi A2 concept is just 3.80 meters (12.47 ft) long, 1.69 meters (5.54 ft) wide and 1.49 meters (4.89 ft) high; even so, it makes an elegant, powerful and sporty impression on the street. Its clean appearance concentrates on the essentials; all details are subtle but shaped for visual impact. The dark glass roof of the white-painted show car switches to transparency with the push of a button.

With its headlights, Audi is presenting the next phase in LED technology, known as matrix beam. A package of LEDs and microreflectors generate a high-resolution and non-glaring high-beam light. Delicate daytime running light fibers frame the highly efficient LED low-beam light module. Intelligent tail lights adapt their illumination to the visibility conditions. The rear fog light, produced by laser diodes, is seen as a beam of light in fog and projects a red triangle onto the road as a warning.

The dynamic light runs below the edge of the window from the front to the rear of the A2 concept – a band of light that contains a multitude of innovative, dynamic light functions. Integrated approach sensors detect the owner and unlock the doors via gesture control. While driving, the dynamic light functions as a continuous side marker light. If the car’s indicator is activated, light impulses run throughout the entire band of light.

In addition, a red bar of light flows forward from the tail lights when braking and demonstrates the strength of the brakes intuitively for other road users.

The dynamic light is also located in the cockpit area of the show car, structured in two separate arches. Like the entire interior, the dash panel has a light and clean look and intuitive controls. The driver manages many important features via touch-control areas on the inside of the steering wheel. Two additional control surfaces fold up at the driver’s right when starting the vehicle. An open profile serves as the steering column; a seven-inch display and two secondary displays are located at its end.

The Audi A2 concept has a flat interior floorboard. The center console is attached to the driver’s seat; the rear console extends forward between the two rear seats. The four individual seats add lightness, and there is storage space under the fold-up seat cushions. There is room between the rear seats for a city bicycle with its front wheel removed. The load area has two levels; a frame with functional nets creates the upper level.

The colors and materials in the interior support the impression of lightness and functionality. The large areas from the door top shoulders to the floor bear a new and innovative covering material made of polyurethane with a neoprene surface feel; a ribbed material made from recycled polyester covers the central floor area. The seat shells are made with a plastic blow molding technique. Aluminum elements create highlights the cockpit[/EXPAND]

By Cars UK