February 16, 2001

Audi A2 1.2 TDI
Text and pictures courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi A2 1.2 TDI requires only 2.99 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres (overall fuel consumption according to 1999/100/EC). This makes it the world's first four-door three-litre car, in other words one with fuel consumption of less than three litres per 100 kilometres. In common with the other members of the A2 model family, the 1.2 TDI brings together all the characteristic features of a high-quality, ultra-practical car within its compact shape. Its spacious interior is as impressive as its ride comfort and quality character.

Progress from the wind tunnel

Audi engineers have reduced the drag coefficient of the A2 1.2 TDI to a sensationally low cD = 0.25 - a figure that is currently not bettered by any other production car - despite its compact dimensions. The successful work performed by the aerodynamics engineers can be expressed as a simple equation: excellent basis + fine-tuning of detail features = Vorsprung durch Technik.

The body shape of the Audi A2 is characterised by lines tapering to the rear, and is thus reminiscent of one of the most aerodynamically effective shapes, the droplet. The generous amount of space, particularly for rear passengers, provides a surprising contrast to the car's particularly sleek exterior.

In order to achieve the three-litre fuel consumption goal, Audi's aerodynamics experts enhanced numerous details of the A2's body still further. For example, by making maximum use of the airflow it was possible to seal off some of the air inlets in the front end. This measure helps to reduce drag quite considerably.

In addition, special size 145/80 R 14 tyres of a new design not only reduce rolling resistance on the A2 1.2 TDI, they also bring aerodynamic advantages. They are narrower than the standard tyres on the other A2 models, and are also aerodynamically optimised by fine grooves incorporated into their sidewalls.

The new wheel arch trims have been designed to match the special dimension of the tyres; this measure also helps to reduce drag.

The very aerodynamically effective underbody of the A2 has been given additional trims on the three-litre version. These guide the airflow at the three-litre A2's underbody - which has among the greatest aerodynamic potential on modern vehicles - in such a way that turbulence is practically eliminated.

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