What's Wrong With This Picture: A2, Take Two Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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…

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • HerrKaLeun HerrKaLeun on Sep 03, 2011

    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.

  • Wmba Wmba on Sep 03, 2011

    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.

  • ED I don't know what GM is thinking.I have a 2020 one nice vehicle.Got rid of Camaro and was going to buy one.Probably won't buy another GM product.Get rid of all the head honchos at GM.This company is a bunch of cheapskates building junk that no one wants.
  • Lostjr Sedans have been made less practical, with low rooflines and steeply raked A pillars. It makes them harder to get in and out of. Probably harder to put a kid in a child seat. Sedans used to be more family oriented.
  • Bob Funny how Oldsmobile was offering a GPS system to help if you were lost, yet GM as a company was very lost. Not really sure that they are not still lost. They make hideous looking trucks, Cadillac is a crappy Chevy pretending to be fancy. To be honest, I would never step in a GM show room now or ever. Boring, cheap ugly and bad resale why bother. I get enough of GM when i rent on trips from airports. I have to say, does anybody at GM ever drive what everyone else drives? Do they ever then look at what crap they put out in style fit and finish? Come on, for real, do they? Cadillac updated slogan should be " sub standard of the 3rd world", or " almost as good as Tata motors". Enough said.
  • Sam Jacobs I want a sedan. When a buy a car or even rent one, I don’t want to ride up high. I don’t want a 5-door. I want a trunk to keep my stuff out of sight. It’s quieter, cars handle better, I don’t need to be at the same height as a truck. I have a 2022 Subaru Legacy Touring XT, best car ever, equipped as a luxury sedan, so quick and quiet. I don’t understand automakers’ decisions to take away sedans or simply stop updating them — giving up the competition. The Camry and Accord should not be our only choices. Impala and Fusion were beautiful when they were axed.
  • Spamvw I think you need to remember WHY the big 2 and 1/2 got out of the car business. Without going political, the CAFE standards signed into law meant unless you had a higher gas mileage fleet, you couldn't meet the standards.The Irony is that, the law made sedans so small with low roof lines, that normal people migrated to SUV's and Trucks. Now we get worse mileage than before.