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The Audi A2 is a premium supermini produced by the German automaker Audi from 1999 to 2005. The last cars left the Neckarsulm plant in July 2005. Based on the Audi Al2 concept car first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997, the A2 (internally designated Typ 8Z) was notable for being constructed from aluminium.

The A2 was considered to be "ahead of its time" in design terms—but the avant-garde styling did not win favour with customers. Audi was reported to be disappointed with the level of sales; the final production is estimated to be 175000 units. This is in comparison to rival Mercedes-Benz' A-Class sales of 1million.

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The A2 was produced at Audis' Neckarsulm plant in Germany. It was the first five-door vehicle on sale in Europe whose average fuel consumption is less than 3L/100km (94mpg-imp; 78mpg-US), although these figures only applied to a special "3L" version with a diesel engine and narrower tyres. Due to the construction, the average A2 weighs less than 1000 kg (2200 lb).

Fan Base

The A2 has a remarkably large fan base for a car that did not sell in extremely large numbers. There are over 4,000people who have joined the Audi A2 Owners Club (A2OC). Due to vast increases in fuel price over Europe in recent times, the A2 has proved a successful second hand choice of vehicle due to its low running costs.

The A2 is built using considerable aluminium alloy content, providing significant weight advantage over similar sized cars. This helps the car to be significantly more economical than vehicles using traditional chassis; under certain circumstances, consumption of just over 2 l/100km (128 mpg, imperial gallon) is possible. The Audi A2 won the Nordic Countries "EcoRun" economical driving race in 2005 with consumption of 2.62 l/100km. Even the normal petrol engined versions are capable of 5 l/100km. The A2 was also notable for being the first Audi model since the 1970s Audi 50 not to be offered with a four wheel drive quattro option.

The A2 uses an Audi Space Frame design: the outer panels of the body have no structural function - similarities exist with the original Renault Espace; and the "space frame" bears the forces working on the car. Due to the decision to create "knots" instead of welding the space frame, improvements in shell stability, shell durability, lower weight, and better interior space are evident. Unfortunately, the cost of working with aluminium, particularly with small production runs, meant that the A2 was more expensive than its competitors. This may have contributed to the relatively slow sales in conjunction with the dearth of marketing from Audi.



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