Volkswagen is prepared to sign off on its new city car -- an 80mph, battery-powered version named the e-Up. In temperate conditions, it could be driven more than 90 miles and it may appear in UK showrooms within a year. Its development is nearly complete. Safety and crash tests are being conducted on the electric car production prototypes. It even has to undergo a nail penetration test. Instead of the normal models’ three-cylinder petrol engine, the e-Up is equipped with an 80bhp electric motor directly geared to the front wheels.
It is capable of developing 148lb ft of torque from a standstill, which makes a performance below 50mph incredibly quick. It could accelerate from zero to 62mph in under 14sec and it offers an electronically limited top speed of 80mph. When recharging in the household, it takes about eight hours. However, an industry-standard fast-charging socket is also available.
The e-Up is powered by an 18.7kWh lithium ion battery bank that has a weight of about 250kg. It is found longitudinally under the cabin floor and is meant to deliver 80% of its original power after a 10-year life. When compared to the standard models, the e-Up is about 200kg heavier but its interior and boot space are identical. VW officials say that there’s “no reason” why the electric variant of the Volkswagen Up won’t arrive in the UK at the same time as it is launched in Germany. However, the automaker has yet to reveal its pricing. It’s also not clear if like Renault, owners will be asked to lease their batteries. [source: Autocar]