Audi just can't seem to get enough all-electric concept cars. After the e-trons of the past few years, Audi is bringing an all-electric A2 concept to the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show later this month. Instead of the quirky style of the Urban Concept, the A2 EV is a compact four-seater designed to add efficient technologies – like adaptive laser lights in the taillights – to maximize range. Think of it as a Smart Forvision that didn't get beamed down from the mothership.

The adaptive lights are what Audi calls "the next phase in LED technology, known as matrix beam." Those LEDs partner with microreflectors to project a bright but apparently non-glaring beam. The A2 concept is all about light, actually, with a dark glass roof that can change to become transparent with the push of a button. Given this, it's clear the focus here isn't really on the powertrain. Still, when you're putting freakin' laser beams into concept cars, maybe sometimes that's Okay.

For more, click past the jump for the press release and see more of the A2 concept by clicking through the gallery.
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The Audi A2 concept – premium-class space concept
Plenty of room for four people within a length of just 3.80 meters
Matrix beam, dynamic light and an innovative, bright interior design
Powerful electric drive system for agile performance and long range


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 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. 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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      uncle_sam
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is contrary to the last survey among carmakers and suppliers in germany. they say electric cars are a FAILURE. Untill 2020 no german carmaker intends to push for EVs. every 9th manager sais there will be NEVER any evs on german roads. Audi as part of VW does not intend to make this car. Like the VW up concept. It was promised as EV now it is a 3 cylinder gasoline car. In 2014 there might be a EV version. Or the Audi A1. Promised and shown as EV and plug-in hybrid with a small 350cc wankel engine will never see the market It is kinda sad, because they DO MAKE great concepts.
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @uncle_sam
        VW never "promised" they would build an EV with those concepts. What they said was there would be a range of engine options that could include electric. Just because the first version out is not an EV does not mean there wont be an EV. As far as I can tell the A1 is not exactly a huge seller.
      OldSalt
      • 3 Years Ago
      Electric cars are to mass transit like unicorns are to horses. The were conjured into existence thru federal dollars and will die off as soon as those monies are gone. In the mean time ICE require increasingly abundant and available carbon fuels of which the US is finding more and more under its own feet. ICE also are becoming increasingly more fuel efficient while producing less pollution, in short they work well whereas efficient electric engines are like unicorns.
        EJ
        • 3 Years Ago
        @OldSalt
        My Unicorn is sourced from my already paid for solar array, I drive for free. But just keep driving your ICEmobiles, my Oil & Gas dividends are how you paid for my Unicorn.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EJ
          I sold my SLB oil exploration stock at the top of the mark. I drive my LEAF on my paid solar array with 5k oil free miles and still laugh past the pump. Been fuel free for six years now.
        j
        • 3 Years Ago
        @OldSalt
        10,000 Chevy and Nissan unicorns roll their owners to work each morning while under our feat fracking foes and cons prepare for court on Tuesday morning to decide if ground water concerns from oil exploration and pipelines from tar sands really can damage the water and land we live and depend on. Sweet dreams oldsalt, because you are right, 1st gen EV's will surely die off. Just like those insanely expensive, Pentagon subsidized, 1st gen bag in a phone contraptions. Sure glad those never caught on.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they have to worry about the headlights robbing power from their pack then this EV would suck bad anyway. More complete fluff from Audi, nothing more but greenwashing.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think Audi/Volkswagen are in a "wait and see " mode. That is they want to make sure they have the in-house expertise to manufacture EVs, but are waiting to see how BMW, Nissan, Ford, etc. succeed with their EVs and let them prove there is a substantial market. While first to market can pay big dividends (especially for Nissan), waiting for the market to mature means they don't have to sell initial versions at a loss. Nissan says the LEAF will only generate a profit when world sales are > 300k annually, but the halo effect is already increasing sales on their other brands.
      Jelly
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why do al very expensive electric cars look so absolutely dull and very boring apart from Tesla's. No wonder 1.3 million Brits gave up the car last year for good, and 1 million more Brits brought a cycle for the first time to join 13 million Brits on two wheels. I think all this greenness has making them bypass buying the very expensive electric car sad to say, and jumping on the next level next step of ZERO Emission transport sadly it will be auto workers jobs will be replaced with cheap bikes "Made in Taiwan or China".
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's a bit further down the road, so BMW are initially putting it into the high-level i8 hybrid, until costs can be got down, but they are doing good work on the more efficient than LED laser headlights too: 'BMW is actually developing lasers for use in headlights. The company sees lasers as the next step after LED headlights. BMW says the key advantage to lasers are their efficiency. Where LEDs generate 100 lumens per watt, lasers generate 170 lumens per watt. When used in an electric car, laser headlights would draw less energy from the battery. To make lasers safe for use in headlights, BMW filters the lights through a fluorescent phosphor material. That step changes the color from blue to white and lessens any harmful effects to that of standard LED headlights.' http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-20100479-48/bmw-to-fit-cars-with-lasers/?tag=mncol;title They go on to make some interesting comments about this would mean that designers could choose not to have a conventional headlight at all, but simply shine a horizontal array of lasers through small holes in the grill.
      tozzou
      • 3 Years Ago
      The previously A2 has been a FLOP in Europe, I hope the same for this crap.
      Neil Blanchard
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm much more interested in the battery pack than in the lights. Will they use the DBM Energy Kolibri 99kWh pack? If not that, then what? A purpose built electric A2 with the 99kWh Kolibri "Hummingbird" battery would go over 400 miles on a single charge -- a game changer. Neil
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        kolibri is a scam Neil
          Roy_H
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Not so sure about that. Does seem a little too good to be true, but then again we are all expecting big steps in battery energy density. I think we should be expected to wait a year or two before making judgement. I know what you mean, EEStor is about 4 years over due and been silent for almost 2 years now. So yeah, a confirmed scam. Blacklight power has sold licences almost 3 years ago, having said they had working prototypes about 6 years ago, again silence for the last 2 years. EcoloCap made big claims about a year or so ago, and turned out that they were selling fairly standard Li-ion, but making extravagant and false performance claims. Lots of scammers out there.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Neil Blanchard
        During a recent vacation in Berlin (July 2011) I read several stories about DBM's "Solid-State energy invention" in Germany's mainstream media. The stories said the invention was being field validated during the summer of 2011 by Next Energy in Oldenburg, Germany. Next Energy was provided with three all-electric Audi A-2s equipped with DBM's "Hummingbird" battery. The reports noted the physicist-engineer inventors are interested in developing their invention first within Germany, making sure it's thoroughly validated by recognized third party engineering groups, making sure all of the necessary legal safeguards are in place and maintaining quality control over production. As with many new technologies the public is only given limited amounts of technical information while the invention undergoes all of the validations. In some ways the process with DBM's invention appears similar to the semi-public development of GM's Volt. We see years of public website discussion and speculation without knowing the highly detailed engineering until shortly before the product arrives in the showroom. Here are several May & June 2011 news web links with video (in German & English) with information that's known with some certainty: http://www.nwzonline.de/Region/Artikel/2624213/Elektroautos-fl%FCstern-jetzt-auch-auf-flachem-Land.html http://www.reuters.com/video/2011/05/03/electric-car-battery-boasts-range-of?videoId=205871922&videoChannel=302 http://www.reuters.com/video/2011/05/05/electric-car-set-to-go-the-distance?videoId=206051651
      • 3 Years Ago
      More facts about the Audi A2 concept: http://www.drive-log.com/2011/09/audi-a2-concept/
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      they showed an electric A1 once too. but as a complete surprise to everyone the A1 ended up being pure combustion engine with no electric option. they lie..
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        If i recall correctly, the original A1 concept was a hybrid. Audi did show a subsequent E-tron version of the A1.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          that's not what I recall but I'm not sure. it was before the whole e-tron lie campaign. they didn't actually call it the A1. something about city
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @throwback
          seems you were right. Audi Metroproject from 2007. plugin hybrid. at least that was the description. in reality there was probably nothing in it.
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