Audi A2 (2003)
The Audi A2 is a premium supremini produced by Audi from 1999 to 2005. The last cars left the Neckarsulm plant in July 2005.
Design and construction
The A2 is considered to be ahead of its time in design terms—but the avant-garde styling has not won favour with customers.
Audi was reported to be disappointed with the level of sales; The final production is estimated to be 175000 units. In comparison to rival Mercedes-Benz A-Class sales of 1 million, this unhappiness on the part of Audi is not surprising.
The A2 is built using considerable aluminium alloy content, providing significant weight advantage over similar sized cars. This helps the car to be significantly more economical than vehicles using traditional chassis; under certain circumstances, consumption of just over 2 l/100 km (128 mpg, imperial gallon) is possible. The Audi A2 won the Nordic Countries EcoRun economical driving race in 2005 with consumption of 2.62 l/100 km. Even the normal petrol engined versions are capable of 5 l/100 km.
The A2 uses a space frame design: the outer panels of the body have no structural function - similarities exist with the original Renault Espace—and the "space frame" bears the forces working on the car. Due to the decision to create "knots" instead of welding the space frame, improvements in shell stability, shell durability, lower weight, and better interior space are evident. Unfortunately, the cost of working with aluminium, particularly with small production runs, meant that the A2 was more expensive than its competitors. This may have contributed to the relatively slow sales in conjunction with the dearth of marketing from Audi.