The official details and images of Volkswagen’s new Up minicar have recently been released. This model will enter the minicar segment in Europe where it will go up against rivals like the Fiat Panda, Renault Twingo and Peugeot 107. A new fuel-efficient gasoline engine will be available for the Up. It will also be the first in its segment to come with certain safety technology features.
The four-seater will go on sale in Europe this December but before that, it will be presented at the Frankfurt auto show on Sept. 12. An insider said that the Up has a price tag of about 9,500 euros ($13,600).
VW sees the Up as strategically significant in its goal to outperform Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. and be the biggest automaker in the world by 2018. This car is set to be VW’s replacement for the Fox, which has had sluggish sales in Europe. VW is relying on the Up to take advantage of the rising demand for small, fuel-efficient vehicles in Europe as well as in emerging markets.
The Up is the first model to arrive from the new entry-level range of VW. Within the next few years, VW will introduce a variety of cars (such as a coupe and a minivan) categorized under the label New Small Family. Emerging markets will receive a decontented variant while VW's sister brands Skoda and Seat will receive their own versions.
The minicar segment in Europe is a crowded one but VW is confident that the Up will get a lot of attention due to its pragmatic design and features that boost safety and comfort. VW asserts that the Up will be equipped with a system that prevents a collision from happening if a laser sensor sees the risk by automatically applying the brakes at speeds under 30 km/h (18 mph). This is the first small car to ever come with this system.
In addition, the Up is powered by a portable infotainment device that was developed with Navigon, a supplier of navigation systems. The touchscreen gadget has the appearance of a smart phone and it is positioned on the dashboard. It functions as a central display screen and control unit for the navigation, onboard computer, telephone and audio equipment.
This car will be available with a new generation 1.0-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine that may have either a 60hp or a 75hp output. VW claims that the most fuel-efficient 60 hp version with stop-start only consumes 4.2 liters of fuel per 100km. On the other hand, the most fuel-economic 75 hp version has a rating of 4.3l/100km. These two offer CO2 emissions of lower than 100g/km. VW says that a natural gas engine will come next and that the electric Up is expected to launch in 2013.