If you haven't heard of the Lupo just yet, brace yourself because this new small car from Volkswagen is expected to extend across four different brands as part of the carmaker's goal to achieve global market leadership by 2018. Codenamed Up, the Lupo will be seen in VW's brands including Audi, Seat and Skoda, by the middle of the decade.
When the Lupo arrives in the UK in 2012, it will replace the Fox as the entry point to the Volkswagen line-up. The Fox, which is produced in Brazil, has had poor sales. The Lupo, which will be produced in Slovakia, is the first model in an extended range of contemporary small cars Wolfsburg officials call the New Small Family (NSF).
This new car was initially designed to be a space saving rear-engined/rear-wheel drive layout, but it has undergone some extensive reworking during its three-year development process. Due to concerns with the cost, a switch was made to the more traditional front-engined, front-wheel drive design.
VW thinks that this will enable it to utilize existing engine and gearbox combinations without compromising the overall packaging. The new vehicle measures 3445mm in length, 1628mm in width and 1495mm in height.
It is about 525mm shorter, 54mm narrower but 33mm higher than the three-door Polo. The Lupo is slotted above affordable offerings like the Dacia Logan but it will be positioned below the existing Polo in order to appeal to both first-time buyers and those looking for a second car.