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2001: A Space Auditiy (Audi A2 content)

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In possibly the worst kept secret on this here forum, I am now the ecstatic keeper of the Forum bike Audi A2..

 

This is partially for practical reasons (so the Burd can have a useable car whilst I fettle her Clio back to health), and partially to satisfy my econogeek.

 

So to that end, this thread will be a mix of an ownership thread, and a bit of a discussion about this weird little car...

 

I'll start off with some insight as to how the A2 came to be, and why it's such a funny looking lil fucker..

 

Back in the mists of time, prior to Western Civilisation suffering the thrill* of sub- prime mortgage CDOs, a CEO at a well respected automobile finance house had an idea.

 

This idea was simple : develop an entry level model to the marque that bristled with the technology and forward thinking of larger models.

 

Striving to alter conventions of small car design, it would be formed from the same lightweight material as the flagship large saloon.

 

With an eye to retention of a "Corporate design" identity, designers were challenged with provision of big car comfort in an aerodynamic yet small footprint. To pack it in, they had to think tall.

 

The result was the Audi A2.

 

A car Audi lost money on, and that was outsold almost 6:1 by the Mercedes A Class (yes, the car that could not remain upright).

 

Due to the Aluminium construction, the car weighed in at 990kg (2190lbs)

 

So, having had one on fleet (1.4Tdi 3cyl (75bhp) manual, 185K) for a couple of weeks, what did they get right? And where could it be improved?

 

Styling

 

The A2 Is a radical departure from the 3 box saloons and sleek estates Audi is known for. To try and draw through the corporate design cues, the face and arches are reminiscent of an A4 that has shrunk in the wash.

 

The side body mouldings are also eerily similar to those found on the A3/4/6.

 

It's here the similarities end.

 

From the front, it looks like an A3 modified for Lincoln to fit in Avec stovepipe hat.

 

At the side, it's like someone has sat half a water drop atop a Jenga Block. A stylised "quarterlight" serves to break up what would otherwise be an unfeasibly wide A pillar.

 

post-17572-0-74077500-1553456447_thumb.jpg

 

From the back, it's clear where Citroen stole the design for the C4 hatchback.

 

Overall, it is no Pontiac Aztek, but it's not a million miles away..

 

Aerodynamics

 

With a Cd of between 0.25-0.29 (dependant on specific model, the lowest being the 3L model designed to do 94mpg), the A2 certainly lead the field in small car aerodynamics.

 

For comparison, my Clio 172 (same age 2001) is both lower and shorter, yet has a Cd of 0.35. A Citroen CX is in the order of 0.36.

 

For good fuel economy, minimising the effort required to shove the car through the air is key.

 

The A2 proves to be a study in both best and worst practice in this area.

 

First, the good:

 

A 'Service hatch' that opens to allow easy oil/screenwash topups also doubles as an effective grille block - reducing the mess potential as the air initially contacts the car.post-17572-0-44898500-1553456805_thumb.jpg

 

The windscreen and roofline follow a profile that closely follows the angles considered most appropriate for drag reduction.

 

post-17572-0-06461700-1553456938_thumb.jpg

 

Additionally, there are some shapes on the roof to help order airflow.

 

You can also see how the rear window has been designed to maximise the roof length and kammback effect.

 

post-17572-0-13993200-1553456992_thumb.jpg

 

The back of the car has recieved particular attention to ensure air detachment is as clean as possible.

 

Notice again the rear window shape, and the wing to provide a clean, sharp surface. Just imagine a line between the end of the rear window, down onto the edge of the lip.

 

post-17572-0-17170900-1553457117_thumb.jpg

 

Such attention to detail continued into the rear lights :

 

post-17572-0-92525100-1553457351_thumb.jpg

 

if these design features seem familiar, it's likely you've seen similar on a 2nd Gen Toyota Prius - which didn't come out until 2003, a full 4 years after the A2.

 

 

With such attention to detail (not to mention incurring the additional cost of aluminium construction), you'd think they'd make sure the low hanging fruit was picked too, eh?

 

Not so.

 

After the effort expended on the "grille block/service hatch" and the windscreen angle, they decided to not bother tucking away the frankly gargantuan 26" pantograph window wiper..

 

post-17572-0-08233200-1553457815_thumb.jpg

 

They also missed a trick with the door mirrors - it couldn't have been difficult to enclose them fully!

 

post-17572-0-40379000-1553458117_thumb.jpg

 

Lastly, the wheels could have been solid (like my 1980 Citroen GSA)

 

Thats enough for one post - I'll do more later.

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Well bought.... How drunk did Dome get you for that??

The "Extended test drive" opportunity arose due to the 335 shitting out its heater valve on track. The good lady seems to find it ok to drive, so a win-win

 

I drive past one of these every day on the way to work. I really, really like them. Great little cars and very clever - just under-appreciated at the time.

In some areas aye, in others it's frankly piss poor.

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Big appreciation for Audi's Bauhaus-inspired design language at the time from my side, the C5 A6 (where it actually appeared for the first time in a production model, before the TT, albeit inspired by its concept) still is a fantastic design today in my opinion, so is the first TT of course. I honestly keep forgetting about the A2, its just so rarely seen. Its a very interesting car for sure, not just because the way it looks. A real future classic for those in the know. Thanks for providing a little insight into some of the design details!

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Looking forward to the updates...!

Will do my best.. the Burd is using it to commute this week, so I will likely not see it in Daylight..

 

  

Great. Now I want an A2. Top write up man. Very interesting.

*Goes to look at eBay*

 

 

Good stuff - felt it deserved a bit of an intro as it's definitely a car that is unusual - aiming for areas not usually considered important by consumers (as can be seen from the build figures!)

 

 

Big appreciation for Audi's Bauhaus-inspired design language at the time from my side, the C5 A6 (where it actually appeared for the first time in a production model, before the TT, albeit inspired by its concept) still is a fantastic design today in my opinion, so is the first TT of course. I honestly keep forgetting about the A2, its just so rarely seen. Its a very interesting car for sure, not just because the way it looks. A real future classic for those in the know. Thanks for providing a little insight into some of the design details!

 

 

Thanks - it's good to be able to 'read' a car, and understand the design decisions that were made.

 

It's very an interesting concept, and execution - gets the brain ticking along.

 

 

Citroën copied Audi copied Honda?673637a22086833904e8585f8b11eef2.jpg

Good write up, I like these. How's the coolant consumption?

The kammback pproach has been a thing for a while I think :) to various degrees of success!

 

That CRX is a mix of aero and tech - a lot of US market one scams with leanburn fuelling (actuated depending on various factors Inc load/throttle position etc) and can do some high MPGs

 

I have only topped the coolant today (,car sat in the unit for last couple of weeks)

 

Will track it and see!

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Nice to see  Y188 again after it's brief sojourn next door.

 

Did the coolant issues ever get fixed?

 

I liked it more than I thought I would but couldn't be arsed with the bonnet arrangement if I owned one! I had a few times of holding that for Tayne, lol.

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Nice to see Y188 again after it's brief sojourn next door.

 

Did the coolant issues ever get fixed?

 

I liked it more than I thought I would but couldn't be arsed with the bonnet arrangement if I owned one! I had a few times of holding that for Tayne, lol.

Coolant issue will be monitored to see if it's bad enough to give a fuck about:) ( Like I said in the post directly above yours ;)

 

The bonnet is a pain, just glad it weighs nowt.

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Always liked these, even if you could buy two whole Puntos for the price of one A2 back in the day. There's been one floating round the classifieds in Glasgow for ages with suspected HGF, or I might have been tempted.

 

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Liked, but in the wrong bit of the forum, shurely?

20+ year old design belongs in here shirley?

 

Good stuff - felt it deserved a bit of an intro as it's definitely a car that is unusual - aiming for areas not usually considered important by consumers (as can be seen from the build figures!)

 

More the gigantic asking price I think, but yes joe public doesn't give a shite about decent design.

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I got a lift in an A2 some years ago when a mate had one. He was evangelising about it, but I was hungover and attempting not to throw up in it. I do remember liking it though. This sort of offbeat shite is right up my street. Will be watching.

 

Verdict: wood

 

Sent from my BV6000 using Tapatalk

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Great write up, I love the A2 and think it’s a great addition to the fleet alongside the GSA. I’m surprised the a class outsold it by so much; to me the A2 seemed the more interesting and better executed concept. Maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere!

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It’s a miracle I never stood on the bonnet of our old one it’s a pain in the arse . Interesting little cars though.

 

I used the Merc as a bonnet stand:)

 

 

20+ year old design belongs in here shirley?

More the gigantic asking price I think, but yes joe public doesn't give a shite about decent design.

 

 

It was originally in the open forum due to a posting fail by me..

 

Interesting you mention price:

 

Audi A2 new 02-05

£12,610-16,445 (parkers data)

 

Merc A Class new 98-04

£12,570-21,825 (parkers data)

 

I can only think that one star beats four rings in the perception of premium.

 

 

I got a lift in an A2 some years ago when a mate had one. He was evangelising about it, but I was hungover and attempting not to throw up in it. I do remember liking it though. This sort of offbeat shite is right up my street. Will be watching.

Verdict: wood

Sent from my BV6000 using Tapatalk

 

 

I apologise if my ramblings have affected your judgement ;)

 

 

Yes, Jim, yellow is the colour, unless you can find an orange one. If only they came with a decent petrol engine.....

(Not often I prefer the Diesel variant)

 

 

I'll come onto the engine in due course..

 

 

Great write up, I love the A2 and think it’s a great addition to the fleet alongside the GSA. I’m surprised the a class outsold it by so much; to me the A2 seemed the more interesting and better executed concept. Maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere!

Cheers! It's quirky in a totally different way to the GSA, but no worse for it!

 

My main thinking is that Audi just didn't have a diverse enough potential customer base for the A2, whereas folk were happy for anything with a Merc badge?

 

  

Mind you, Piech has form in his career for technically impressive loss leaders (Veyron, phaeton, Porsche 917 etc)

Aye he seems to be a touch eccentric that way.

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