Audi cancels electric A2 city car, A1 e-tron

Article by Christian A., on June 4, 2012

It appears that not all the concepts shown at the biggest auto shows are becoming reality. It’s the case of the A2 electric city car as Audi just cancelled the project due to the fact that a 40,000 euros ($49,713) price tag would be too much for the customers.

According to Car magazine, the Audi believes that the A2 could not become a best seller in Europe and we must agree with this, as the rivals Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiEV are not quite a success on the mentioned market. The A2 was meant to take on the Bmw i3. The Audi A2 concept was a purely electric vehicle powered by a lithium-ion battery that stores 31 kWh of energy, about 24 kWh of which is usable.

The vehicle delivered a total output of 116PS of peak power (80PS continuous) and 270 Nm of torque (160 Nm continuous) to the front wheels through a single-speed transmission.

It wasn’t a fast car as the sprint from zero to 62mph was made in 9.3 seconds and had an electronically limited top speed of 93mph. The total range of this car was 124 miles according to the European driving cycle test, while a full recharge was made in 1.5 hours with 400 volt three-phase current.

And the bad news continue as the German manufacturer also pulled the plug on the A1 e-tron. The smaller A1 also featured a small Wankel rotary petrol engine in order to support the electric motor.

Using just the electricity the car had a maximum range of just 31 miles while with the help of the Wankel rotary petrol engine the range was extended to 125 miles. Still, it appears that the complicated development process and the small profit margins killed this car too.

Audi’s new e-tron series will unveil a new addition at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The Audi concept A1 e-tron is a Mega City Vehicle (MCV) with pioneering drive technology. It is equipped with a muscular zero-emission electric motor for city driving. It also has an internal combustion engine that can recharge the battery in special situations. The A1 e-tron concept is extremely nimble due to its electric 75 kW (102 hp) peak power motor.

The Audi A1 e-tron technology

Audi’s e-tron units have only been around a few months, but it already has many members, each with its own chosen drive technology. The first e-tron, debuting at the 2009 IAA in Frankfurt/Main, is a high-performance near-series sports car with all wheel driven by electric motors. The concept displayed at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show is a light two-seat compact with two electric motors at the rear.

Audi A1 e-tron concept now highlights a different approach - a compact premium electric car. The two-door, four-passenger MCV car was created particularly to be driven through the cities of North America and Europe and in the swiftly developing megacities in Asia and in South America. The Audi A1 e-tron always runs on electricity power, with the internal combustion engine only to be used for recharging the battery in specific events.

The new technologies that are integrated illustrates Audi’s comprehensive approach in embracing mobility through electricity. Its goal is to consume its energy with the least loss possible. The exact interface of the mechanisms, their intelligent bundling, and their effective current flow management are the result of the knowhow that Audi developed in this arena.

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