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Audi A2 Eco Extreme Test

Alcan Automotive : 30 July, 2001  (Company News)
Following an extreme test drive through numerous European countries a series-production Audi A2 1.2 TDI arrived at Lake Zurich on 30 July.
The finish line at Alcan’s European headquarters in Zurich marked the end of a 100,000 kilometre test drive using the three-litre 1 aluminium Audi, which was launched on the market just a few months ago and weighs a mere 855 kilograms.

A total of 100 drivers, many of them journalists, sat at the wheel of the record-breaking vehicle during the endurance test. Travelling on public roads it covered a distance roughly equivalent to two and half times the Earth’s circumference in just 960 hours – 40 hours less than the 1,000 hours originally envisaged. In this time the A2 also broke two economy records (lowest fuel consumption) and a world endurance record, thus proving that the Audi A2 not only satisfies the most stringent economy, safety and comfort requirements, but also leads the way in terms of durability.

The test drive took the Audi A2 1.2 TDI through various European countries, passing, amonst other things, the Ferris wheel in Vienna, the windmills of Holland and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. To complete this journey in the envisaged maximum time of 1,000 hours, including driver changes, fuel stops and service work, the Audi A2 had to maintain an average speed of around 110 km/h.

The Audi A2 1.2 TDI is the second three-litre car (3 l/100 km) to come from the Volkswagen Group.

For Gerhard Plattner, project manager and senior driver on this extreme test, the greatest challenge was posed by the meticulous route planning that was required. “The world’s most versatile driver”, as the Guinness Book of Records described him, overcame this challenge using the experience gained in driving some 6 million kilometres by choosing roads on which the drivers were able to average around 150 kilometres per hour even during the peak holiday periods.

Successive records
On the two economy drives in Germany and Austria that were incorporated in the test, however, the average speed was over 81 km/h. A new economy record of 2.12 l/100 km was set in Germany, whereas in neighbouring Austria the new record stands at 2.26 l/100 km because the route included the Arlberg Pass.

The A2 also set a world endurance record during the 100,000 km extreme test. Never before had a car achieved such a high average speed, namely 104 km/h, travelling a distance of 100,000 km on public roads.

Finally, the aluminium Audi achieved an average speed of more than 145 km/h during an additional 24-hour test on a quiet section of the autobahn in Germany, which according to Plattner represents “a fantastic figure for a 61 HP three-cylinder car.”

Aluminium – a material that satisfies the most stringent requirements
As a partner to Audi in the development of the Audi A2 and supplier of the lightweight components we are delighted that the endurance test has been such a success”, said Dick Evans, President of Alcan Europe, on arrival of the test vehicle in Zurich. “The fact that the Audi A2 TDI has passed this test under extreme conditions proves that cars with aluminium bodies meet and in some cases exceed the high expectations of the automotive industry and vehicle owners.”

The 100,000 kilometre test drive does not mark the end of the test programme for the new Audi A2 TDI, as Gerhard Plattner will soon be driving the same vehicle to the North Cape, from where he will embark upon a 7,000 kilometre journey through nine European countries to Tarifa in southern Spain. In the process he hopes to set a new fuel economy record of just 2 litres per 100 kilometres on this trans-European route.
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