A successor to the little Audi A2 city car, discontinued in 2005, is reportedly being developed as a new entry model even smaller than the light A1.
The A2 was never offered in Australia, but the Volkswagen Up! is expected to form the basis of Audi’s littlest new offering. That’s according to the UK’s Autocar, which reports that the A2’s replacement will use the little Up!'s 'NSF' underpinnings.
With a short wheel base, diminutive drivetrain and more premium interior, the new Audi could prove to be the ideal city car for those wanting the four-ringed badge on the bonnet.
The new model is understood to be in development in Ingolstadt, Germany, with a plan that focuses on the Up!’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine for standard variants, and an electric e-tron drivetrain - similar to that found in the e-Up! - for an even greener offering. That electrified variant would also stand in for diesel and hybrid offerings, which have reportedly been ruled out due to higher component costs.
Above: Audi's 2011 A2 concept has so far been left out of the company's production plans
Also ruled out are any quattro versions of the tiny A2 replacement, as Audi sources have reportedly confirmed that the Up!’s NSF platform is not engineered to support the Quattro drivetrain.
Both two- and four-door versions of the compact hatchback, along with a ruggedly-styled model with raised ride height and body cladding, are expected to be revealed at the 2017 Paris Motor Show.
Production would reportedly then begin in 2019. News of Audi’s third attempt to enter the compact hatchback market comes despite previous commentary from Audi, including as reported by CarAdvice, that no version of the Volkswagen Up! was on the cards. “There is no need for a car (smaller than the A1),” Audi boss, Rupert Stadler, was reported to have previously said.
Above: the original A2, introduced in 2000 and retired in 2005, was not offered in Australia.
Later in 2014, however, German magazine Autobild reported that a so-called ‘AQ2’ model had been locked in for a 2018 debut as a rival to the BMW i3. (The existing A3 e-tron is a closer rival.)
There’s a clear discrepancy between the two reports, however: with a 2570mm wheelbase, the i3 is a markedly larger offering than any model built on the Up!’s 2420mm wheelbase would be. If this latest report proves true, it could mean that the 2011 A2 concept (pictured) could at last be on the road to production.
The Audi A2 Concept is 3800mm long, 1690mm wide and 1490mm tall, making it 149mm shorter, 50mm wider and 74mm lower than the the Audi A1 three-door.