Audi A2 e-tron almost confirmed, could replace the A1 – Report [Update]

From BMW Group (BMW Neue Klasse) to GM (Hummer) and Stellantis (Opel Manta) to Renault Group (Renault 4 and Renault 5), automakers are bringing back long-discontinued (some even iconic) models to spearhead the exciting transition to electric mobility. At Volkswagen Group, the dawn of the EV era will mark the return of the VW Microbus (VW ID. Buzz) this year, and later, the Audi A2.

Audi A2 background

The original Audi A2 debuted in 1999, and some might say, was ahead of its time. The small car failed to make its mark in the marketplace as the millennium marvel from the four-ringed brand. Looking back, it helped the German automaker make a statement about its innovativeness that small cars can be just as sophisticated. A volume-production car with an all-aluminium body, that too a small car, was something a rare feat in the 90s.

Rumours about the return of the Audi A2 have floated on the web for over a decade. Autocar reported in March 2011 that the relaunch was under consideration, and within six months, the Audi A2 concept broke cover at IAA 2011. An interesting fact is that this concept was a pure electric car. While this concept never evolved into production, a modern-day Audi A2 is back on the table a decade later. Audi hasn’t confirmed, but it has left hints that it plans to release a pure electric Audi A2 later this decade.

A2 Revival plan

In an interview with Just Auto in April 2021, Hildegard Wortmann, BoM member – Marketing and Sales, Audi, said that the company has always offered emotional models and has ideas to release more of them. “We have to have icons for the future,” Wortmann said. Just Auto’s immediate question after the statement was whether the company plans to launch an all-new Audi A2. In response, Wortmann said that the original Audi A2 was remarkable and to know about launching in a modern-day avatar, we should “stay tuned.”

This isn’t the first hint about the return of the Audi A2. In February 2021, Autocar reported Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, saying that the company may launch the production version of the ‘Audi AI:ME’ concept from Auto Shanghai 2019 as Audi A2, Audi E2, Audi A3, or Audi E3. Duesmann said the company was still discussing the name for that model.

Audi AI ME front three quarters
The Audi AI:ME concept is an indicator that the next-gen Audi A2 or the A2 successor will also not be a conventional hatchback and have a little offbeat design with a focus on space and practicality. Image Source: Audi.

Just five days after Autocar reported the above development, Duesmann told Top Gear that he liked the original A2 and that maybe the company “should do a new A2.” He continued that maybe the A2 should return as an electric vehicle (as Audi hinted with the concept in 2011) and that the company could brand it the Audi E2 (the “E” stands for “Electric).

Audi A2 e-tron specs

A modern-day Audi A2 would replace the Audi A1 Sportback, the future of which is looking uncertain. Developing the A2 on the MEB eco platform (MEB short platform) may allow Audi to design it with the same or more cabin space in the same or smaller exterior dimensions.

MEB eco is Volkswagen Group’s upcoming shorter and low-cost version of the already commercialised MEB platform. The VW ID. Life and CUPRA UrbanRebel concepts are the first models, although concepts, to feature the new platform. In the ID. Life, it allowed a wheelbase of 2,650 mm, the same as that of a comparable ICE small SUV. A 172 kW (234 PS)/290 Nm motor draws energy from a 57 kWh battery pack and propels the front wheels (unlike MEB, MEB eco is an FWD platform). The internally estimated range with this setup is 400 km (249 miles)

The A2 electric could use a battery pack of around 50 kWh consisting of cells featuring Unified Cell design. Audi could target a WLTP range of at least 300 km (186 miles). Higher-end configurations could have a bigger battery pack capable of providing a longer range of 400-500 km (249-311 km).

Alternatively, Audi could take the original MEB platform of the VW ID.3 for a compact electric hatchback along the lines of the Cupra Born, if the project is a high priority. The third option is the advanced PPE Architecture which Audi has said will underpin B-Segment models in the future. The base for the A2 then depends on which segment Audi sees having potential for an electric hatchback and how early it wants to enter the segment.

Audi A2 e-tron release date

The next-gen A2 could appear once more as a concept, and further evolution of the Audi AI:ME, possibly a near-production concept. That would allow Audi to get the necessary feedback before the launch, which we expect to unfold before the end of 2025.

Auto Bild expects a much earlier release of the A2 e-tron, which indicates the application of the MEB platform instead of the MEB eco platform. The German publication states 2023 as the year of launch in a listicle briefing all future Audi models arriving by 2024. If true, we can look forward to the expected near-production concept to break cover at the 2022 Paris Motor Show (17-23 October 2022).

Expect the base Audi A2 EV to cost between EUR 22,000 and 25,000.

Featured Image Source: Instagram/futurecarsnow