The original, all-aluminum Audi A2 was a unique beast, which Heinrich Timm, Audi's head of lightweight design, maintains was ahead of its time. However, the rumored 2012 A2 is likely to utilize a steel unibody platform, and the latest reports indicate that Audi's mini-lux will have a new reason for being special.
Autocar quotes anonymous sources who say the next A2 could be Audi's first electric-only vehicle. While the UK rag doesn't go into detail, Audi has dropped hints that a variant of the A2 could utilize the extended-range EV hardware under the hood of the A1 e-tron concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show. The e-tron utilized a 60 horsepower electric motor paired to a 330-pound lithium ion battery pack. The "extended range" part of the A1 e-tron concept comes courtesy of a small, powerful rotary engine that would work as a generator whenever the battery pack was depleted. Audi quotes the EV range of the A1 e-tron concept at about 33 miles per charge.
Do we think the A2 will be electric-only? Our magic eight-ball says "ask again later," so we're thinking the earliest we'll know anything is this September at the Paris Motor Show.