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Dr. Evil couldn't get sharks with laser beams (for a while, anyway) and we won't get an Audi electric car with them, either.

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European automakers are warming up to the idea that the future involves a lot of battery-powered cars, whether they like it or not.

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The jump from teaser rendering to metal was kind to the new Audi A2 concept, which debuted in Frankfurt today. The sketch looked good, but the real thing is even better, with elegant lines that flow from the headlights and then around the side. Of course, we know that what's really important here is the laser...

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The jump from teaser rendering to metal was kind to the new Audi A2 concept, which debuted in Frankfurt today. The sketch looked good, but the real thing is even better, with elegant lines that flow from the headlights and then around the side. Of course, we know that what's really important here is the laser.

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Audi has released the first handful of (CG-enhanced) pics of the A2 Concept bound for next week's Frankfurt Motor Show, and it's not bad – assuming you're partial to your refrigerator.

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Over the past few years, Audi has teased us with a number of reasons to think that the automaker's next-generation A2 may be offered with an electric-only powertrain, or maybe with some type of plug-in hybrid option.

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Over the past couple of years, Audi has teased us with concept cars and leaked info indicating that the automaker's next-generation A2 may be offered with an electric-only powertrain, or maybe with some type of plug-in hybrid option. Now, the rumormill is blazing with reports that the upcoming "state-of-the-art" A2 will tip the scales at under 1,800 pounds. According to Autocar's "company sources":

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Remember when German automakers' line-ups were fairly straightforward? Take Audi, for example. There was the A4, the A6, and the A8. And that was pretty much it. But now there's an A1, A3, A5, A7, TT, R8, Q5, Q7...the list keeps growing. And it looks ready to keep on growing, too, as reports come in of Ingolstadt's plans to bring back the A2.

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Audi A1 e-tron concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Audi A1 e-tron concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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With its lightweight aluminum spaceframe and miniature luxury aspirations, the first generation Audi A2 was a vehicle a bit ahead of its time. That would make the little Audi a revolutionary vehicle were it not for the fact that customers weren't all that interested with the price premium that comes with expensive spaceframe technology, and it could be argued that the A2 wasn't all that attractive, either. See above and decide for yourselves.

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Audi e-tron Detroit Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Audi A1 e-tron concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Audi A1 e-tron concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Audi A1 Sportback concept

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We've been hearing ruminations of new small cars from Audi for the last few years, and they've only heated up since the introduction of the A1 Sportback concept at the Paris Motor Show a few months back. Current rumors indicate that the small hatches are expected to hit the market sometime before 2014. Of course, by that time, the A1's primary competitor, the MINI, will have already had its electric power for a few years. The A1 will share an engine range with VW's Up! and will likely spawn an e

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We know that Audi is hard at work on a new city car that will be based on Volkswagen's NSF (new small family) chassis architecture that will underpin numerous vehicles, including one based on the familiar up! concept. There are three possible powertrain options that are currently being tossed around and tested by the German automaker, including a fully-electric option as well as two that are powered by petroleum. Both engines would displace around 600cc's and be turbocharged, one using gasoline

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Click above for high-res gallery of the Volkswagen up!

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