More often than not, a radical concept car gets developed only for a major car show then shelved once the show is done. However, this is not the case with the 2007 up! concept. VW intends to release a new range of compact cars patterned after the original concept vehicle.
The latest compact cars are anticipated to replace the existing Lupo hatch, then there will be three- and five-door versions for the VW, Skoda and Seat brands. Models being speculated include a sporty Cabrio, a 5-door MPV and possibly an Audi variant.
There is likewise a possibility that Volkswagen may produce an SUV version, together with a gasoline-electric hybrid version and an all-electric model.
Expected also are premium and low cost variants, with upcoming markets set to received the latter version.The new cars took a step closer to production with the announcement today that the first cars, three- and five-door versions for VW, Skoda and Seat will be manufactured at the Volkswagen's Bratislava factory in Slovakia beginning 2011.
The cars will be provided with a front engine and a front-wheel-drive arrangement only. Featured in the original up! was a rear-mounted engine powering the rear axle but was discontinued by reason of cost.
With the engine up front, more components can be shared with other VW models although space inside the cabin will be less compared with the rear-engined models. Power under the hood will come from a line of small three- and four-cylinder units, both naturally-ventilated and forced-induction, and both gasoline and diesel-fueled powerplants.