A production variant of the e-up! will be launched on the market in 2013. At the 2011 IAA, Volkswagen is already showcasing a near-production study of this zero-emissions vehicle, which has a distinctive identifying feature at its front end -- the arc-shaped layout of the LED daytime running lights in the bumper.
The e-up! has an upper engine cooling air slot, which is between the VW logo and the headlights, and is fully covered by an elegant chrome trim strip. The narrow air intake slots found below and above the license plate are sufficient to cool the drive system of the e-up! that is painted in "planet blue metallic" color.
The interior of the e-up! is dominated by friendly beige colors. Moreover, the designer panel in the front, door trim panels and centre console are painted in the new color combination dubbed as "two drops blue." Furthermore, accents around the air vents sparkle in a sophisticated black. Supplying the propulsive power for the concept vehicle, which can attain a top speed of 135 km/h, is an electric motor with a peak power of 60 kW or continuous power of 40 kW.
Typical of electric motors, the almost silent motor creates a high maximum torque of 210 Newton meters from a standstill. The driver activates the reversing or forward gear by pushbutton on the center console.
As for the battery, the one utilized in the vehicle has a capacity of 18 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which allows it to run distances of up to 130 km, depending on driving style. This is enough driving range for the city and for the travels of most commuters. They are found on the underbody of the e-up!. As for the key drive and ancillary parts, they are all housed in front of the engine compartment.
The new Volkswagen up! boasts of compact dimensions: wheelbase of 2.42 meters, length of 3.54 meters, width of 1.64 meters (without door mirrors), and height of 1.48 meters. With short body overhangs, the layout of the up!’s body allows for an optimized use of interior space. The front end of the VW up! features lines that make it seemingly smiling.
The headlights – featuring integrated daytime running lights – is visually linked by a narrow black band that also incorporates the Volkswagen logo finished in chrome. While these headlights are smaller than its siblings, they are visually very noticeable. Since the up! is powered by small engines – petrol and natural gas – and soon by electric motor, there is no need to have large air cooling intakes. According to Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Brand, the front-end design of the up! and those of other VW models follow the same styling guidelines: strong emphasis on horizontal lines, precise short angles, and a visual connection between the grille and headlights.
He noted that despite these similarities that identify these models as Volkswagen, these vehicles are unique from each other, including the differences in the proportions of the individual components. Bischoff said this resulted to highly individual vehicles. When viewed from the side, the up! is defined by the interplay between convex and concave forms as well as by the flares of surfaces.
The up!’s continuous surface is accentuated by a slight concave groove placed above the side sill. Interestingly, the side profile of the new VW up! features no seams or edges, aside from the wheel housings and appearance of the side windows. These wheel housings feature large lateral surfaces – known as wheel mirrors – that makes the small wheels (14 inches to 16 inches) seem larger.
On the other hand, the up!’s lower-lying window edge and its bonnet are linked by a short angle in front, while a long ascending line in the car’s rear third matches another line that connects the C-pillar and the rear wheel. This makes it seem that the rear wheel is supporting the C-pillar. A line also runs across the up!’s short rising bonnet, flowing further over the windscreen and roof to the rear. Here, the silhouette of the up! follows the side windows to the bumper through an almost vertical curve.