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All Tests

  Secret Icon

Why should this car be an icon? Probably not based on its looks. The front shown here would probably be more suitable for this, but hardly the rear, where the Audi designers lost courage. So why this car here in the row of icons?

You know, there were 3 and even 1 liter cars. In the latter, on the occasion of his farewell, Ferdinand Piech worried whether he would be able to reach Hamburg from Berlin with the targeted consumption despite the bad weather. In short, he did it with flying colors, but was probably chilled to the bone and needed at least one support vehicle in addition to the of the press.

The 3-litre VW Lupo was hand-assembled at 50 examples per day on a factory site that had an output of up to 3500 units per day. Of course it was a subsidy deal. In addition, four people could not sit properly in the Lupo.

As you can see, everything is headed towards the one up there. A impressive car, whoever had it would not give it away, but also feared any possible accident. What made it special was its aluminum body below. According to the manufacturer, its cW value was 0.252, which is very good for a vehicle of this size.

Because one thing is clear, the longer the vehicle is, the more favorable you can make the cW value at all. Incidentally, the narrow tires on the 3-liter version, for example, didn't help, because the cross-sectional area is then multiplied by the cW value.

So what helped? Rather the fairly full underbody paneling, also slightly different hubcaps and also less air flowing through the engine compartment. Of course, the dimensions helped, e.g. a width of only 1.67 m. However, a length of 3.83 m was only enough for four adults with luggage if you sat a little higher at the back than usual. The vehicle was therefore relatively high at 1.55 m.

It was an enormous challenge to try to reach the three-liter limit with a vehicle whose interior was similar to that of the Golf of the time. The second core variable after air drag is the weight. Aluminum with a density of almost a third promised to help here. One speaks of 150 kg less weight.

Cast B-pillar made of aluminium

And not only the development but also the manufacturing process gave reason to expect problems. After all, a body made entirely of aluminum had never been mass-produced before. Approximately 30 m of the laser welding seams, which were still very new at the time, were needed. After all, at some point the production of the A8 began, which could serve a little as a model.

Unfortunately, the sale of the A2, which was delayed by a year, did not fulfill the group's hopes. Not the first and not the last icon that happened. Perhaps the vehicle was misplaced under the cheaper A3, or the upcoming hybrid vehicles, e.g. from Toyota, raised hopes that saving fuel could be done with less effort.

Almost 6,500 models have been produced from the economy version. Such a product is only accepted if it is either only slightly more expensive than the competing models or triggers a real hype. Maybe there were also doubts about the durability of the body from some potential buyers, when reports of cracked panes made the rounds. After all, the entire A2 series became a hit after production ended.

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