Monday, 3 October 2011

The Audi A2...

First of all, sorry for taking 18 years to do an update. We've just gone and got a proper job and it's sort of eaten up all our time. As for word-carver, Bevis, he's been busy too. Though how busy you can get in a dark basement eating scraps of toast is beyond us. Still, he should have some words to add soon enough, probably about an Austin Princess or something. Anyway, we digress. ON WITH THE BLOG!

The Audi A2!

No, honestly, it is an Audi. It just looks a bit like a foil-wrapped R2-D2, that's all

We've no idea what the woman by the wall is doing, apart from being in a silly-hat-induced strop. Maybe she doesn't like Star Wars. Or Bacofoil. Anyway, she's not important here. The A2 however, is very important. Not only is it a great little car, it's also an engineering marvel, miles from any other car in its class in terms of technology and design. No surprise really - if Audi were going to build something so out of character it had to be pretty special.

Is that guy? Is he just standing in a big circle? Er, who directed these press shots? Good job he doesn't look like a berk or anything

Born in 1999, the A2 was the road going interpretation of the earlier Al2 concept - which looked even more like R2-D2. It came about when Audi charged its designers with the task of building a car that would comfortably seat four adults. It also had to be economical and crucially, to paraphrase the company itself, the new design had to be a small Audi, not a cheap Audi. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the concept itself...

No, wait, that's not right...

...ah, yes, that's better. Sorry about that

Constructed using space-frame principles via the medium of aluminium, a collection of lightweight alloys and a lot of clever German thinking, the A2 ended up weighing about as much as a thimble. If you then strap a 16V 1.4 engine to a thimble, much like Audi did, you find yourself getting 60mpg. That's a good thing these days, especially as petrol stations have recently started accepting children as payment, such is the cost of the golden go-go juice. They also built a diesel version which achieved somewhere in the region of four lifetimes to the gallon, but they're exceptionally desirable and somewhat pricey - you'd have to sell at least three children to get your mitts on one of those.

Hold a mirror to the screen for a UK representation of the A2's cabin

It was, and still is a fantastic car. It's comfortable, it's incredibly economical and it doesn't cost much to run. Sadly though, because it was built from aluminium, funky metal alloy, frankincense and so on, its OTR (on the road) price was far higher than other cars in its class. The result? It was a sales disaster. That, however, means you can now pick one up for hardly anything...

So, there you have it. Petrol is expensive, Audi A2s aren't and they don't use much er, petrol. Oh, and it's great for Star Wars fans. Beep boop wheee been boop wap beep!