Production for Volkswagen Up! Ready in 2011
According to sources quoted by autonews, the first incarnation of what VW calls “the Beetle for the 21st century” will be a three-door model with four seats and a three-cylinder petrol engine. The little car will be priced at about EUR10,000 (around $14,000). Though we do not know the official name of the UP! (rumors even say it might be the next Fox), we can however expect it to hit markets in late 2011, with an electric variant arriving two years later.
An electric UP! is due in late 2013, set to join the electric Golf and Jetta also expected that year. When asked about the possibility of a two cylinder engine finding its way under the bonnet, VW brand development chief Ulrich Hackenberg said "That is a beautiful engine as well" (true petrol-heads might not agree with him there).
The UP! will most likely share its platform with the Audi A2, that will come out the same year and is also expected to see an electric version in 2013. Based on that platform will be a whole family of UPs that will also include a five-door version and a small minivan.
In the initial phases of development VW was going to put the engine in the back, thus creating the rumor this will be a true Beetle successor. It decided however that, in order to keep the costs down and make its powerplants interchangeable with the bigger Polo model, the engine should be place in the front.