By on September 2, 2011

I was living in Austria when the first-generation A2 came out, and I was mildly shocked to find that I couldn’t find a single native who was as geeked about Audi’s baby aluminum wonder as I was. Sure, it was geeky and overpriced, but for me it surpassed even the TT as the apotheosis of Peter Schreyer’s bauhaus-inspired design language. Tyroleans of all ages laughed off my enthusiasm as eccentricity, and across Europe the A2 never sold especially well.

But by the time production ended in 2005, the A2 was as fresh as the day the first example rolled out of Neckarsulm, and even to this day its resale value has held up extremely well. To be completely honest I don’t actually have the numbers to back that up, but it’s what I was told when I was in Germany earlier this Summer. And in Volkswagen’s Autostadt, the A2 has a special place of honor inside the Zeithaus (House of Time) alongside another ahead-of-its-time freak: the Citroen DS.

Will the next A2, a concept version of which is headed to the Frankfurt Show, be as special? It still has an aluminum spaceframe… but it’s also 2011, not 1999. The A2 2.0 has its work cut out for it…



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5 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: A2, Take Two Edition...”

  • avatar

    I think a more appropriate headline should read: “What’s RIGHT with this picture?”

    More Conestoga wheels. SIGH…wheels looking more and more like the four rings in the Audi logo.

    I see an Audi pick-up truck next.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    When the EPA is done that will be the new A8L.

  • avatar

    Our family hauler is a 2004 A2 with the 1.6 FSI motor. We had to travel 700km to find it, gasoline versions are hard to find compared to the diesel. I have to admit, it’s been in the shop a few times (ignition coils), but it’s been great. We’ve been averaging 6.2l/100km overall in mixed driving.

    The reason for buying this car was that it is light. The 110 horses only have to pull one ton. Can’t wait to see the next one.

  • avatar

    compared to the Volvo 30 etc. this actually looks like a car that many people would want to be seen in. sure it is more expensive than a comparable Polo, but that applies to Audi in general. People dish out $ 20K for a Mini, so why not for an actual car?

    Here is the problem with car CEOs, they have a good vision and get a car that is ahead of its time (actually that vision might have come from engineering against the CEO will), then right before its time comes they discontinue it (along with R&D) because a quarterly report needs to be beefed up. If Toyota would have discontinued hybrids after the first generation Prius….

    If the aluminum frame translates into fuel savings and better performance, it will be special. It would be interesting to see how heavy (=powerless, thirsty) the same car with steel would be and what the cost difference is. Unfortunately this might be limited to computer simulations. Actually one could test it once you calculate the added weight, and then add weights to this car and retest acceleration, handling, and mileage again.

  • avatar

    Why do designers think that iron rim wheels from an 1871 steam farm tractor look attractive on a alloy can sedan? Is it the coffee they drink or the constant need to fling their heads back to get the pony tails out of their eyes?

    It’s not even an exaggeration, but an utter abomination. It doesn’t even look cool. Giant wheels have high moments of inertia and impede handling due to gyroscopic effects, plus they store completely useless energy that is wasted on braking and has to be replenished upon acceleration. I have no time for such frippery.

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