A Lesson in Lightness
You could argue, with justification, that Audi’s new A2 is the car Mercedes set out to create when it conceived the A-Class.
Spool back to the Vision A at the ’93 Frankfurt auto show. The Mercedes concept car’s frame is aluminum and, because it weighs just 1,574 lbs. (714 kg), there’s talk of 91 mpg (2.6L/100km) at 56 mph (90 km/h). But already management is back-tracking. They admit the production car will be made of steel, weigh more than 2,200 lbs. (1,000 kg), and has no hope of reaching the soon-to-be universal, German baby car target of 3L/100km, or 78 mpg. Says Mercedes boss Juergen Hubbert, “Aluminium is fine for low-volume, high-profit cars, but not for base models.”
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