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Audi A2 Concept is an utterly fantastical electric car, with lasers

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Audi A2 Concept

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...

Audi acknowledges that the A2 is nothing more than a "concept technology study," which meant that the designers were able to go a bit crazy with this all-electric vehicle. This includes a built-in internet connection, steering and braking by-wire systems and, yes, a rear fog light laser that projects a warning triangle on mist behind the car when visibility is compromised.

Anyone who knows a little something about electric vehicles will tell you that for Audi to pack a 31-kWh lithium-ion battery into a car that weighs just 1,150 kilograms (2,535 lb), some sort of wizardry needed to happen. Sure, only 24 kWh of the pack is usable to give the car a claimed range of 200 km (124 miles) on the European driving cycle, but 31 kWh is a heavy pack.

To take weight out of the rest of the car, Audi uses tricks like "cladding technology" to make the 18-inch wheels, dispensed with hinges for the non-existent hood and put lightweight graphite foam cooling elements behind the grille. The full details are available in the press release after the jump, but the takeaway points remain: laser, lightweight and li-ion. We fear how much this would cost if it were to ever go on sale.
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