Audi A2 Electric Concept Hints at the Future of Urban Transportation: 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi A2 Electric Concept Hints at the Future of Urban Transportation: 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi‘s original pint-size A2 was very much a city car. In fact, it’s been used as the basis for a number of electric vehicle experiments. Now, Ingolstadt has combined both aspects in its latest A2 Concept, unveiled this week at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Weighing in at just 2,535 lbs (200 hundred less than the BMW i3), it’s fairly light by EV standards and is said to deliver a 124-mile operating range and can accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 9.3 seconds, and is able to reach an electronically limited top speed of some 93 miles per hour.

In addition, using a 400 volt cycle, it reportedly takes just 1.5 hours to charge (at 230 volts the time is longer, approximately four hours). Still among current EVs, such statistics aren’t bad.

Part of the reason why the A2 Concept is a relative bantam comes down to its multi-material construction; the outer body and chassis is made largely from aluminum, while additional parts are fabricated in Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (CFRP).

Suspension design is utterly conventional, with the typical small car arrangements of front MacPherson struts and a rear I-beam axle; steering and braking are purely electric, operated by drive-by-wire assist.

As it has been largely designed for city and commuter driving, the new A2 Concept boasts a feature that most 9-to-5 road warriors will probably find appealing; a semi-autonomous cruising mode, whereby by touching two large pads, the vehicle takes control of all operating features bar the turn signals and windshield wipers. Simply tapping both pads at once disengages the system, allowing the driver to regain full control.

Much like the original A2, the new concept was designed from the outside to pack the most amount of space within a small, physical form. Consequently, despite its rather tiny dimensions (150-inches in length; 66.6-inches in width and 58.8 inches in height), it still boasts ample seating for four, plus their luggage.

Like many automakers, Audi is pushing the Electric Vehicle idea quite hard. Besides the A2 there were two additional EVs on display at Frankfurt; the much talked about Tandem-seat Urban Concept and the latest in a line of eTrons, this one based on the R8 Supercar, which will make series production.

As for the A2, it’s very likely something similar will find its way into dealer showrooms in a few years time. As to whether a second generation A2 will make it to American or not, that remains to be seen. The previous model was never officially sold here, yet, considering that small cars might finally be catching on stateside it might be foolish to rule out the possibility this time around.

GALLERY: Audi A2 Concept

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