The Volkswagen up! has been a long time in the making, and that’s mainly because the German carmaker need to offer something that both revolutionary and cost effective. The model also need to be a proper car that belongs next to the VW heavyweights in the model range.
The wait is now over, as VW has take the wraps off the new small car that’s even more diminutive than the Polo. At 3.54 meters in length, its significantly smaller than a MINI, and will offer stiff competition to cars like the Citroen C1 and even the Fiat 500 in some respects. It’s got a wheel at each end, so the it’s ideal for maneuvering in and out of tight spots in the city.
Gone is the rear engine, RWD configuration of the old concept, as it’s been replaced by frugal little three-cylinder engines that go under the bonnet. We’re talking about two petrol units of 1.0-liter displacement and offering either 60 hp or 75 hp. Designed to live in the city, the up! will get remarkably good fuel consumption thanks to VW’s BlueMotion Technology, with both engines putting out well under 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
Both an LPG version and an electric one are coming, the latter by 2013.
Design wise, the car as as angular as it can be without looking boxy. It’s not much to look at, but the interior is interesting and offers the usual VW sober quality mixed with a bit of youthfulness.
“If the goal is to maximise space, the ideal form for a small car would be a rectangular box. In the up we were able to sculpt such a box with a clean and powerful design that does not lose sight of space utilization,”
said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand.
Expect to see the up! in European showrooms in December.
autoevolution will be attending the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, so stay tuned for some real up close and personal shots of the vehicles, as well as for first-hand details of the motorized contraptions presented at the event.