Sunday 21 August 2011

New Car: 2012 Volkswagen Up!

Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the long-anticipated Up! city-car, ahead of its world debut at the 64th IAA. The Up! is set to overtake the firms own Golf as the best-selling model in the line-up and will be an important vehicle to Volkswagen as it assumes world domination by 2018.

The production car holds true to the original concept – that debut four years ago in Frankfurt - with its simple two-box silhouette. Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen design officer said the layout provides optimum space usage within a compact footprint, making the Up! extremely suitable for metropolis driving. Other design features that mimic the concepts included the low-placed rectangular grille, angular headlights, large wheels, and prominent wheelarches, which give the Up! a more expressive fascia compared to other Volkswagen models.

At 3,540mm long, 1,640mm wide and 1,480mm high, the Up is 430mm shorter, 40mm narrower and 20mm higher than the three-door Polo. With a wheelbase of 2,420mm, the Up has class-leading cargo capacity at 251 litres, 951 with rear seats folded, and comfortable seating for four adults.

The 2007 Up! concept was rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive, which according to Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, gave the best packaging result, but was ditched due to high costs, so the Up! now features a transverse, front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive structure, known as MQB.

Power comes from a 1.0 litre turbocharged TSI petrol engine in two tunes; 61bhp (60PS/45kW) or 76bhp (75PS/57kW). Mated to these is a 5-speed manual but a 6-speed automated clutchless gearbox will be available after launch. Although no fuel economy data was released, expect upto 67.3mpg (4.2l/100km) and 65.7mpg (4.3l/100km) with CO2 emissions slotting under 100g/km, thanks to standard stop-start. With no diesel engine offered, a natural gas-powered model will emit 86g/km, although this won't be offered on British shores.

In the pipeline, a 5dr Up! will launch in mid-2012, alongside other Up! siblings from Škoda and Seat. An electric Up! is due in late 2013. The entry-level model is called Take Up, a more comfort-orientated Move Up and the range-topping High Up, alongside two special editions based on the High Up called Up Black and Up White, which come with colour-keyed interiors, will be available.

Although a pricing structure has yet to be set, insiders suggest an entry price between £8,500 - £9,000 when the Up! goes on sale in Spring 2012.
Press Release:
The first photos of the Volkswagen up! have been released, ahead of the new small car making its debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The up! is an entirely new design, offering maximum space on a minimal footprint (3.54 x 1.64 m), making it ideal for driving in the world’s cities. It will be launched in Europe in December. There are three versions for different budgets and needs: take up! is the entry-level car, move up! the comfort-oriented model and high up! the top version. At the car’s market launch, there will also be two models based on the high up!: up! black and up! white.

Making its debut in the up! is a new generation of three-cylinder petrol engines, with outputs of 60 PS and 75 PS. Combined fuel consumption as a BlueMotion Technology version (including a Stop/Start system) is 4.2 l/100 km (60 PS), and CO2 emissions for this version are less than 100 g/km. There are also plans for an up! with electric drive.

An important new safety technology in the up! is the optional City Emergency Braking system. It is automatically active at speeds under 18mph, and uses a laser sensor to detect the risk of an impending collision. Depending on speed and situation, City Emergency Braking can reduce accident severity by initiating automatic brake interventions that can even avoid a crash. So far, the up! is the only vehicle in the segment to be offered with this function.

At 3.54 metres in length and 1.64 metres in width and 1.48 metres in height, the up! is one of the smallest four-seater cars. Its overall length consists of short body overhangs and a long wheelbase of 2.42 metres. Use of space in the car is exceptionally good, because of the wheelbase, which is one of the longest in the segment, combined with an engine that is mounted well forward. The 251-litre boot is also significantly larger than is typical in this class. When the rear seat is fully folded, cargo space is increased to 951 litres.

The interior is as colourful as it is capacious, with either decor paint or body colour (depending on the equipment line) used in the interior, including across the dashboard facia. The clean and well-organised layout of the interior of the up! also offers clever details, fun styling and a level of quality that will enhance the market segment.

For the first time in a Volkswagen, the maps + more system is now being offered, which is a mobile Personal Infotainment Device (PID). In the economically priced up!, this is an equally economical system that was developed to organise navigation, telephone, information and entertainment, and was designed in cooperation with Navigon, one of the world’s leading suppliers of navigation systems. The user simply snaps the PID into place above the centre console. Unlike many other similar systems of this type, maps + more melds with the car’s network of systems more effectively: navigation, telephone and infotainment can be controlled and viewed via the maps + more touchscreen, which can also be used to view vehicle information, such as the display of the parking sensors (where fitted). Apps specially developed for the up! also let users extend maps + more to meet their specific needs.

More details and pricing information will be available closer to launch.

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