Recently, both Audi and BMW have made announcements that pertain to the future of the product lines—specifically there electrified models. BMW has recently confirmed the Megacity, a “true zero-emission vehicle,” that is to go on-sale in 2013. As if to answer a challenge, Audi also announced plans to produce a new EV under the A2 nameplate. However, Audi plans to put their vehicle on-sale in 2012. A little friendly competition anyone?
Audi A2 rendering

Audi A2 rendering

The specifics about wither car isn’t crystal clear yet, but sources like Autocar and Leftlane News say that these cars are going to be small and 100% electric. In fact, Autocar in the UK reports that Audi chairman Rupert Stadler has “said electric drive is a priority.” The same seems to be true over at German rival BMW where they believe that the Megacity will create “new benchmarks for electric mobility from 2013 on.” So what makes these cars so special? Let’s have a look.

The Audi A2 already has an interesting history with it being one of the first cars mass produced with an aluminum frame. As you might guess, the A2’s construction led to it being very light for an MPV  (about 2100 lbs). The low weight combined with a diesel motor with stop-start technology allowed the A2 to achieve fuel consumption less than 3 liters per 100 kilometers or about 78 mpg U.S. The second generation A2 is bound to be just as revolutionary with the only offering consisting of a completely electric powertrain. The new A2 will leave the aluminum chassis behind, but will continue the outward look of the original A2 by having a similar tall and box-like design.

The Megacity we probably know even less about, but what we do know perks our interests. According to Leftlane, BMW says the Megacity will “become the first truly mass-produced vehicle to make extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced material throughout…” Basically, BMW is taking a step toward the future by paving the way for ultra strong and lightweight materials to be used to reduce weight and improve efficiency. I don’t want to see their R&D bill. Other than that, we know it will be marketed by a sub-brand and be smaller than the 1-Series or MINI.

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