Audi has confirmed plans for a lightweight, all-electric successor to the A2 — six years after the pioneering first-generation model ceased production.
The new A2 is previewed by this four-seat concept car at the Frankfurt motor show is pencilled in to go on sale in 2013.
The five-door hatch retains the distinctive silhouette, short overhangs, shallow glasshouse treatment and aluminium spaceframe construction of the original A2. However, it receives a more technical appearance in keeping with other recent new Audis, notably the A1, with which the new car will share elements of its chassis and underpinnings.
The concept is 3800mm in length, 1690mm in width and 1490mm in height — that’s 26mm shorter, 17mm wider and 63mm lower than the original A2.
Key design features include a newly interpreted blanked-off version of Audi’s single-frame grille, angular headlamps, short bonnet, high waistline, prominent shoulder line, sloping roof and near-vertical hatchback. The glass roof alters its transparency at the push of a button.
As well as previewing the new A2’s looks, the concept showcases Audi’s latest LED tech, known as matrix beam. The headlamps use so-called micro-reflectors to generate a high-resolution, non-glaring high beam, while the tail-lamps adapt their illumination to the visibility conditions. The rear foglight is seen as a beam of light and projects, via laser diodes, a red triangle on to the road.
Audi is yet to reveal details of the new A2’s driveline. However, sources close to the German car maker say that the A2 is planned to be sold with both a standard electric and optional range-extended driveline. Such a move would mirror that of BMW, with its new i3, which is also set to make its public premiere at the Frankfurt motor show.
Inside, the A2 concept has four individual seats. The squabs of each seat fold to reveal storage space. The floor is described as being flat in a move that enables Audi to mount batteries low within the car’s structure.
A hi-tech dashboard has been designed to provide a clean look devoid of traditional switchgear. All controls are contained within a pod that also supports the steering wheel. Behind it sits a large colour monitor that offers internet access and traditional readouts. A secondary monitor is mounted lower, alongside the driver’s right thigh.