p-3The genesis of the Audi A2 is fascinating. The carmaker’s engineers were given the brief: design a car that can get from Stuttgart to Milan on one tank of fuel. The result of their labours was the A2, a small car that featured plenty of interior space yet was light on weight and boasted an engine that took fuel efficiency to the max.

Of course, the major reason for the A2’s success came down to the use of aluminium; the concept edition of the vehicle was actually slyly called the Al2. (See what they’ve done there?) A whopping 250kg was shaved off the overall weight by using aluminium for the space frame.

Under the bonnet was a three-cylinder direct injection engine, the world’s first in fact. This enabled the A2 to pull off the ‘three-litres per 100km’ fuel economy target. All this was achieved without preventing the A2 from being a fun car to drive.

Despite all its innovation and clever design, the A2 never caught on with buyers and was easily outsold by the Mercedes A-class. Perhaps it was too ahead of its time, perhaps it was just too weird. Either way, this clever little car could be a real future classic.

 

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