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New Details of Audi A2 Electric Concept - Web Exclusive

With its reliance on battery power, the car must be both light and efficient.

Greg Emmerson
Sep 8, 2011

After showing you initial design sketches of the Audi A2 concept car here:
Audi is now revealing more complete renderings of its third electric-powered car to be unveiled at Frankfurt.

Power for the electric motor, mounted within the sandwich floor, is provided by a lithium-ion battery. After a 1.5-hour 400-volt charge or 4-hour 230V charge, the car will have a reported 124-mile range from its 116hp motor with and200 lb-ft of torque. This is said to permit 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds and a 93mph governed top speed.

With its reliance on battery power, the car must be both light and efficient. Therefore, it will have shift-by-wire, brake-by-wire and steer-by-wire contactless technology. It will also weigh only 2535 lb with the help of multi-material hybrid construction.

The concept also uses very advanced lighting systems to save energy, alert other drivers, and create interior ambience.

The A2 concept is purely electric, using a lithium-ion battery mounted in its sandwich floor to store 31 kWh of energy, 24 kWh of which is usable.

The electric motor is transversely mounted in the front, and delivers 116hp peak power (80hp continuous) and 200 lb-ft of torque (120 lb-ft continuous) to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission.

This permits a 0-62mph acceleration time of 9.3 seconds and a top speed of 93mph, limited in the interest of driving range, which stands at 124 miles according to the European driving cycle test.

It takes roughly four hours to charge the battery with 230-volt European household current. The Audi A2 concept is also designed for the new contactless charging technology (Audi Wireless Charging).

The charging socket and the cooling water connection are concealed at the front of the car behind the single frame grille. The lower section of the grille acts as an air inlet, and incorporates efficient cooling elements made of graphite foam. The lightweight mineral is an excellent conductor of heat from the water to the ambient air. Eight blocks (with six graphite elements each) are located in the central air inlet.

McPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear axle provide agile handling with the help of steering and brake systems which are purely electric (steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire), requiring no mechanical or hydraulic connection to the steering wheel or the pedals, respectively. Semi-autonomous driving

The A2 concept can also cruise ‘semi-autonomously’, a benefit designed specifically to take some of the strain out of driving in slow-moving traffic. Two large inward-pointing touch-sensitive pads are used to control all the car’s key operating functions bar the turn indicators and the windscreen wipers, and if both these touch pads are touched simultaneously the car enters this ‘semi-autonomous’ mode. In this mode, the driver can manually intervene and regain full control of the vehicle at all times, as is currently the case with the Adaptive Cruise Control with stop & go function on which the new technology is based. Despite its small footprint, the A2 concept offers seating for four with space for luggage.

The interior architecture takes advantage of the electric drive system. So there is no center tunnel; the console between the front seats can be lowered to allow free passage through the vehicle. Heating and cooling air flows indirectly and draft-free through a perforated surface beneath the windscreen.

When the driver pushes the button to activate the electric drive, an animated band of light encircles the driver and passenger, and two touchpads unfold to the right of the steering wheel.The small touch surface on the left is for shifting gears (shift-by-wire); the larger one on the right is reserved for the air conditioning and media functions.

The opaque glass roof of the show car is finished in flat Electric White, and becomes transparent at the push of a button. When an electric voltage is applied, small particles integrated into the glass align so that the light can pass through the glazing. When the glass roof is darkened, however, it blocks the infrared component of the sunlight almost completely, effectively shadowing the interior. This is a further contribution to efficient temperature management in the purely electric powered Audi A2 concept.

By Greg Emmerson
1078 Articles



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