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Audi’s new ground breaking all-electric small car to debut

Sep 8, 2011 6:30:53 PM - www.ft.lk

One of the most innovative Audis in history is being reborn at the Frankfurt Motor Show. These are the first official images of the new A2 – a groundbreaking all-electric small car set to rival the BMW i3.
This concept gives the clearest idea yet of how a replacement for the original A2 will look. And as you can see, it’s a clever blend of the original A2 and the A1.

Nods to the past include a classic A2-style curved roofline and extended arches. Plus, a pronounced wheel-at-each-corner stance, with minimal overhangs, gives a big clue to the impressive space the car will offer inside.
The A2 is slightly shorter and taller than the A1, and about as wide – it measures 3.8 metres long by 1.7m wide and 1.5m high. As in the Volkswagen up!, a long wheelbase means plenty of room. The show car gets a luxurious four-seater layout with a flexible set-up that can swallow a bicycle. Expect the production version to offer seating for five.
Audi has confirmed that the concept will feature an all-electric powertrain, but is holding back the precise details until it debuts at Frankfurt. When it hits dealers, though, expect a wider range of engine options than before.
Sources in Germany have hinted the petrol units will range in output from 75bhp to 110bhp. They should include a three-cylinder unit from the up!, as well as a VW Group-sourced four-cylinder. A diesel is also promised, as is a plug-in hybrid that will go 55 miles on electric power alone. But the cleverest model will be the all-electric A2. This should feature lithium-ion batteries and a 70kW electric motor, giving a range of 155 miles – that’s at least 50 miles more than the Nissan Leaf. These potential figures will help the new car live up to the legend – as the original A2 was a pioneer in terms of efficiency.
It showcases an array of new lighting technologies, too, including the next phase in LED lighting, known as matrix beam. A clever assortment of LED bulbs and microreflectors creates an intensely bright, non-glare beam. The tail-lamps also adapt their brightness automatically to suit the conditions. Most radical of all, though, is the ‘dynamic light’ that runs along the entire side of the car, and produces pulses of light when the indicators are activated.
Polyurethane and a ribbed material crafted from recycled polyester covers the central floor area. The seat shells are made with a plastic blow moulding technique, while aluminium highlights add a classic Audi premium feel. Key functions are controlled via a touchscreen behind the steering wheel.
The newcomer should launch in 2013, and with its amazing space, low running costs and wide powertrain choice, it will be worth the price premium it’s sure to command over the A1.

(Source: autoexpress)