GERMANY: Audi to 'revive A2'
Audi's A2 small car was perhaps ahead of its time in some ways. It was exceptionally light, efficient to run and came with futuristic styling.
But its advanced construction and heavy use of aluminium made it expensive to build. That, combined with small car segment pricing constraints and low demand left it severely unprofitable, with Audi dropping the model altogether in 2005.
However, there are reports in Germany that Audi is planning to revive the A2 as a sport model. The German auto magazine Auto Bild said it will be built with a high roof to round off the compact A1 and A3 model segments.
Auto Bild said the new A2 could be fitted with the three-cylinder engine planned for the VW Up! with the choice of either a 1.4-litre petrol or 1.6-litre diesel motor.
A Sportback version with a longer rear is also being planned for 2014, the magazine said.
An electric motor fitted to the rear axle would turn it into a four-wheel drive Quattro. In contrast to the original A2 which was built with an aluminium chassis, the new A2 would be built with a mixture of materials including steel, aluminium and plastics.
The A2 made its debut in 1999. However, Audi ceased production in 2005.