Audi wants to make good on its previous failed attempt at delivering a small car positioned below its A3 hatch. Audi sold the original A2 supermini up until 2005, and managed only average sales results. Total production numbers are estimated at only 175,000 units, which pales in comparison with its main rival from Mercedes Benz, who sold over 1 million A-Classes in that time. The problem was that the A2 was ahead of its time in terms of design. Its avant-garde styling and aluminum construction made its manufacturing costs too high and its design was not favoured by the conservative tastes of the time.

For the next generation A2, Audi will enlist the help Volkswagen Group’s Spanish unit, Seat, to help co develop a platform that will be shared by the new Ibiza. The move would also help Seat by allowing the Spanish carmaker to utilize unused capacity at its Martorell plant near Barcelona. Since the car is positioned below the A3, Audi’s Ulrich Hackenberg is confident that “it is possible to work with Seat,” and not compromise on the Audi brand.

Seat is already well underway in its development of the next generation Ibiza small car, and no decision about part sharing with Audi has been finalized. A key supplier in Germany has mentioned that the two companies will be collaborating on a new model, with the new Ibiza arriving in 2008 followed by the A2 in 2009. The new A2 will also share much in common with the VW Polo and will feature full steel construction instead of the expensive aluminium.