Electric Audi city car ‘a possibility'

Audi A0 front
Credits: Milos Dvorak
13 Jan, 2014 6:10pm Jack Rix

Audi is plotting an all-electric city car based on the VW up! to sit below the A1, chief tells Auto Express

Audi is considering an even smaller model to sit below the Audi A1 supermini, according to technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg. Based on the same architecture as the VW up!, the city car would be all-electric and have all the luxury and technology of larger models in the range.

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"I can imagine a market for this car in mega cities," Hackenberg revealed. "If you have a segment that’s big enough, there is always a desire for a luxury product in that segment. But an Audi city car would need to have all the connectivity and luxury of other models."

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When we suggested it could be all-electric he said: "Why not – it's fun to drive, has big torque, but the battery range needs to be right. We will have to see if the VW e-up! range is too small for an Audi, but perhaps is easier to convince Audi customers about this car – they will have a warm garage and somewhere to plug it in for example. It’s definitely a possibility for the future."

Just how far in the future exactly, was hinted at by Audi's head of marketing, Luca De Meo who suggested that the A1 needs "another lap" – or another generation – before Audi can establish itself as a small car maker. Once the second generation arrives, the suggestion from De Meo was that Audi could begin to push lower, in to A0 territory. 

Hackenberg, the man behind the original A2's development, also revealed that the new A2 project isn't yet dead. Shown as an all-electric concept car at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the A2 was quietly dropped from the product plan while Audi focused its attention on plug-in hybrids.

"I was the father of the original A2, but it was not a success. The new A2 is a concept that's still in mind for the future," Hackenberg said. "Let's say I’m a friend of the A2."