Motoring Trailblazers - Audi A2

Sat 26th May 2018

The world of motoring seems to be hurtling headlong into a bright new future of all-electric, automated, connected technology - and Marty McFly is not behind the wheel! But what were the cars that were ‘back to the future’ of years gone by?

There have been many different trailblazing motors which were seen by the critics to be ahead of their time, and in this series, we will investigate and showcase many of the best in class.

Audi A2
When the Audi A2 concept was revealed to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011, it was bringing back to life a pioneering vehicle, which 12 years earlier had broken new ground in the growing Supermini class.

However, the fact that the A2 needed to be given new life at all, tells you all you may need to know about the famous history of Audi’s pioneer.

The original A2 was based on the Audi Al2 concept which was first seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997, the most notable feature of that bold new Audi was that it was constructed from aluminium, which in combination with an extremely economical car on fuel.

The concept quickly became a reality when it went on sale in 1999, with production at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant, on a special aluminium line, It became the first five-door vehicle on sale which had an average fuel consumption of less than 3 litres per 100 kilometres. On average, the A2 weighed less than 1000 kilograms, allowing for the excellent fuel economies.

On release, as well as its great economies, the styling also caught the eye, with many critics excited by the avant-garde shape, Autocar was particularly enamoured "The best thing about the A2 is that it isn’t merely a design exercise. Yes, it’s a great car to look at, sit in and touch, but it’s also a riot to drive".

The original design brief was to build a small car that could transport four people from Stuttgart to Milan on a single tank of petrol. Though the claims by an Audi product manager that the idea was to ‘create a small Audi, not a cheap Audi’.

It was this line which would prove to be its death knell. The cost of working with aluminium made it much more expensive than the other superminis in its sector. Parts were difficult to get hold off and insurers frequently wrote the car off, even with minor bumps, due to the dearth of aluminium specialists able to fix the car.

The experiment had failed, less than six years after being released, production of the A2 was brought to a halt. Interestingly, the new A2 concept, which was seen in 2012, was again ahead of its time, this time with an all-electric engine. But after getting their fingers burnt on the earlier experiment, Audi refused to push forward with a production, allowing the Nissan Leaf to take all the glory as being the electric mini flagship.

Audi have a whole range of A-range vehicles to choose from (unfortunately no A2). Get yours today and will deliver it to your door.