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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Audi A2 EV Concept - First Pictures

With the electric-only powertrain of the A2 concept, Audi is offering another peek into the future of electric mobility at the 64th International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. The technical study features a classic, premium-standard space concept that offers plenty of room for four people.

The lithium-ion battery mounted in the sandwich floor stores 31 kWh of energy, 24 kWh of which are usable. The electric motor is transversely mounted in the front of the vehicle. It delivers 85 kW (116 hp) of peak power (60 kW continuous) and 270 N·m (199 lb-ft) of torque (160 N·m (118 lb-ft continuous) to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission.

The Audi technology study has a range of 200 km (124 miles) in the European driving cycle. It takes roughly 1.5 hours to fully recharge the battery with 400 volt three-phase current and approximately four hours with 230 volt household current.

The show car weighs less than 1,150 kilograms (2,535 lbs). This is due primarily to its body, which features the most advanced state of Audi’s ultra-lightweight construction. The A2 concept marks the first time that the ASF has been combined with hybrid multi-material construction, in which very different materials are combined with one another. In this case, the superstructure is made largely of aluminum components and is complemented by add-on parts of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP).

The Audi A2 concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.3 seconds; top speed is limited to 150 km/h (93 mph) in the interest of range. A McPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam axle in the back provide for agile handling. The steering and brake systems are purely electric (steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire), requiring no mechanical or hydraulic connection to the steering wheel or the pedals, respectively.

The 18-inch wheels are fabricated using cladding technology. The alloy base wheel and the cladding are manufactured separately and bonded together, reducing the amount of material used. The new hybrid technology, which Audi already uses in some production models, saves roughly two kilograms (4.41 lb) per wheel. The wheels of the A2 concept combine the blade look of the e-tron family with Audi’s classic spoke design.

The Audi A2 concept is just 3.80 meters (12.47 ft) long, 1.69 meters (5.54 ft) wide and 1.49 meters (4.89 ft) high; even so, it makes an elegant, powerful and sporty impression on the street. Its clean appearance concentrates on the essentials; all details are subtle but shaped for visual impact. The dark glass roof of the white-painted show car switches to transparency with the push of a button.

With its headlights, Audi is presenting the next phase in LED technology, known as matrix beam. A package of LEDs and microreflectors generate a high-resolution and non-glaring high-beam light. Delicate daytime running light fibers frame the highly efficient LED low-beam light module. Intelligent tail lights adapt their illumination to the visibility conditions. The rear fog light, produced by laser diodes, is seen as a beam of light in fog and projects a red triangle onto the road as a warning.

The dynamic light runs below the edge of the window from the front to the rear of the A2 concept – a band of light that contains a multitude of innovative, dynamic light functions. Integrated approach sensors detect the owner and unlock the doors via gesture control. While driving, the dynamic light functions as a continuous side marker light. If the car’s indicator is activated, light impulses run throughout the entire band of light.

In addition, a red bar of light flows forward from the tail lights when braking and demonstrates the strength of the brakes intuitively for other road users.

The dynamic light is also located in the cockpit area of the show car, structured in two separate arches. Like the entire interior, the dash panel has a light and clean look and intuitive controls. The driver manages many important features via touch-control areas on the inside of the steering wheel. All driving function use by-wire technology. Components such as the steering or brakes, for example, are actuated purely electrically. Two additional control surfaces fold up at the driver’s right when starting the vehicle. An open profile serves as the steering column; a seven-inch display and two secondary displays are located at its end.

The Audi A2 concept has a flat interior floorboard. The center console is attached to the driver’s seat; the rear console extends forward between the two rear seats. The four individual seats add lightness, and there is storage space under the fold-up seat cushions. There is room between the rear seats for a city bicycle with its front wheel removed. The load area has two levels; a frame with functional nets creates the upper level.

The colors and materials in the interior support the impression of lightness and functionality. The large areas from the door top shoulders to the floor bear a new and innovative covering material made of polyurethane with a neoprene surface feel; a ribbed material made from recycled polyester covers the central floor area. The seat shells are made with a plastic blow molding technique. Aluminum elements create highlights the cockpit.

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