The Volkswagen Up! makes no bones about what it is and what it isn’t. What it isn’t is a thoroughbred car that will satisfy all your speed thrills. What it is, however, is a smiling, fun-loving, economical city car that will net you plenty of mileage and provide state-of-the-art technology for compact vehicles.
Built in numerous concept forms over the past couple of years, the Volkswagen Up! has finally been given the production green light, and its getting ready to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
For the production version, Volkswagen will be offering the Up! in three different trim versions with "take up!" being the entry level version, "move up!" being the comfort-oriented version, and "high up" being the top-of-the-line version with two special edition models of the "high up!" - "up! black" and "up! white" - scheduled to be introduced when the car officially makes its official launch at the end of the year.
UPDATE 10/10/11: Volkswagen has finally revealed the pricing details for the Up!, which you can check out after the jump!
Find out more about the Volkswagen Up! after the jump.
We already know that the Volkswagen Up city car is going to spawn different versions for a number of other brands in the VW family, including Seat, Skoda, and even Audi.
There are rumors, however, that another VW-owned brand is going to get its own city car. Specifically, that brand people keep referring to is Bugatti.
What, you ask? A Bugatti city car?
Well, nothing’s been confirmed yet, but there’s growing speculation that this spy video of two camouflaged cars of VW UP prototypes could have a Bugatti offspring in the future. Take it for what it’s worth but it does make for an interesting scenario.
Now that Aston Martin has dived head-on into the city car segment with Cygnet, it wouldn’t be a far-fetched idea for a high-end luxury brand to follow suit. Add that to the enormous resources Volkswagen has and we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if see a little Bugatti running around the world’s cities in the future.
Volkswagen unveiled today at the Los Angeles Auto Show the 2010 Up! Lite concept, the latest addition to the Up! line-up. The new Up! Lite concept is powered by a hybrid system that includes a TDI (turbo-diesel), an electric motor and 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG).
The newly designed 0.8 TDI two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine delivers a total of 51 hp. At the push of a button the new Up! Lite activates the Eco mode that reduces the power to 36 hp.
In two of its operating phases, the hybrid drive of the Up! Lite was designed to operate without any TDI propulsion at all. First phase: In so-called coast-down, activated by the driver taking his or her foot off the gas pedal (car coasts, TDI engine is shut off). Second phase: Over shorter distances, e.g. in residential areas, the E-motor can power the Up! Lite all by itself. In this case, a lithium-ion battery supplies the energy. Since it is capable of pure electric driving, the configuration is classified as a full hybrid. Shifting work is handled by a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) like the one used in the new Polo. Moreover, the Volkswagen is equipped with a Stop-Start system.
Volkswagen has just unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show the electric version of the now famous Up! Concept. The new Volkswagen E-Up! concept is believed to make it to production by 2020.
The E-Up! concept is powered by an electric motor with a peak power output of 60 kW supplied by by a lithium ion battery. Fully charged the batteries offer the E-Up! a range of 130 kilometers. The motor of the front-wheel drive car, which is mounted up front and develops a maximum torque of 155 lb-ft from rest. The driver activates forward or reverse gear via a rotary knob in the center console. The fact that the E-Up! will also quite clearly offer driving enjoyment is demonstrated by a look at the car’s classic 0 to 60 MPH sprint of 11.3 seconds. The E-Up! develops even greater responsiveness in the intermediate sprint from 0 to 50 km/h in city driving: 3.5 seconds.
According to Volkswagen the E-Up! concept is the Beetle for the 21st Century: headlights with their facet-like lenses – cut like diamond, the fog lights configured as C-shaped, chrome-trimmed elements in the headlight housings, a circular pattern in the bumper.
Last April Audi said that they would not be producing an electric car in the near future. Well plans have changed according to Car Magazine. Audi has unofficially said it will sell an electric version of the VW Up as soon as it becomes available. Possible release estimate being late 2010.
Hopeful Audi doesn’t scrap this idea like it has so many others in the past (think back to the Q5 and Q7 hybrid programs). Audi may make a plan B since Volkswagen has has product delays with the Up. After all, it is not even clear yet whether the Up will be rear or front-engined; since the concept had the engine in the back, but the latest news is that production versions will adopt a more conventional layout. Chances are that whether it be an Audi or a VW badge there will be an electric Up in the near future.
Last week AutoCar launched the first rumor according to whom the next Volkswagen Up! will be a FWD model. Today Volkswagen confirmed those rumors and also announced that the production will be delayed by up to five months.
Volkswagen plans to sell at least 500,000 Up variants a year in Europe, emerging markets, and possibly in the US. The car’s launch was scheduled for 2010 but will now be delayed by three to five months until early 2011 because of the engine layout change.
The delay means that the Up will come to market much later than rivals planned by Toyota and Fiat. Toyota’s IQ goes on sale in Europe early next year. The Fiat Topolino launches at the end of 2009. Both will have their engines in the front.
Volkswagen plans to build hatchback, minivan and sedan versions of the Up for the Volkswagen , Skoda and Seat brands in a range it code-names New Small Family.
When Volkswagen unveiled the Up! concept last year, they announced the production version will be RWD, but because of some development difficulties, the Up! may have to be converted to a more conventional front-wheel-drive layout to achieve its original targets.
According to Volkswagen the project has three key difficulties. First, the low-cost, mid-engined layout of the Up! is proving more costly to engineer than anticipated. It’s apparently difficult to accommodate a radiator in the car’s nose and trunk coolant through the car. Second, the Up!’s rearward weight bias has caused problems with cross-wind stability in early testing.
The combination of these two serious factors is threatening to force styling compromises the company might yet reject.
But Volkswagen is saying that those problems can be beaten and that the project will go on.
Volkswagen will unveil the production version of the Up! Concept in 2010. It will come to compete with Fiat 500 and the all-new Toyota iQ. Up was first unveiled as a concept car last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It has a super-compact, rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive powertrain, and promises to be incredibly environmentally friendly, with low CO2 emissions.
The production version will maintain all the cheekiness and stand-out style of the concept. And that’s no surprise; bosses at VW have always made it clear that the production up! would look virtually identical to the model seen on the stands at Frankfurt.
It will be offered in both in petrol or diesel version, and have a capacity of around 600cc. Both units are likely to be turbocharged, and Volkswagen is targeting CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km and combined fuel economy of 94mpg. A 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol motor is under consideration, too.
The production version Up! will be offered in both three and five-doors version; but a MPV will follow at a later date. A hybrid version is also under consideration.