So what's Audi's secret? Using technology first pioneered in the A8 saloon, the A2 is the world's first volume production car to use a chassis constructed entirely from aluminium. Remarkably, Audi's Space Frame technology not only maintains similar torsional rigidity strengths of conventional steel but the A2 weighs an incredible 43% less, giving the A2 the lightest kerb weight in the class at just 895kg.
The A2 comes in one bodystyle and engine choice: the 1.4-litre 16-valve four-cylinder petrol developing 75bhp (tested here) carried over from the Volkswagen Lupo and Polo ranges. Early next year, a three-cylinder 1.4-litre turbodiesel also with 75bhp (and also from the Lupo and Polo) arrives. With such a light load to lug, performance is much better than you might expect considering the engine's diminutive capacity, but it also means they are both mega-economical.
Even in petrol form the A2 manages to return 47.1mpg - the diesel reaches 66mpg. With such frugality, logic dictates the Audi A2 must also be amazingly clean and in petrol format it records 144g/km.
But these pictures do not do justice to the A2's tiny proportions. At 1.67metres wide, it's 13cm narrower than a Ford Fiesta and standing 1.55metres tall it is 17cm shorter than a Renault Scenic. To counteract any packaging deficiencies, Audi has engineered a Space Floor Concept with a split-level floor in which the rear-seat passengers sit below the front pair, thus liberating head and kneeroom.
Entry-level pricing for the A2 starts at ú13,150 on-the-road for the A2 1.4, rising to ú16,600 for the A2 1.4 TDI SE. The 1.4 16v SE costs ú14,920.