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.
Volkswagen’s E-Up! Concept demonstrates that emission-free VW vehicles never lack in emotion. Thanks to the team headed by Volkswagen Group’s chief designer, Walter de Silva – together with the Chief Designer of Volkswagen Brand, Klaus Bischoff, and Volkswagen Group Head of Creative Design Flavio Manzoni – the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept features a layout reflecting the visual bandwidth of the New Small Family of the future.
The E-Up! Concept also bears a resemblance to earlier concept vehicles that were presented under this new model series – including the Space-Up!, which is a microvan; the Up!, which is a city specialist; and the Space-Up Blue!, which is a fuel cell-powered van. These represent designs that closely reflect the future production car.
Bischoff says that the VW E-Up! is characterized by a reduced and very clear design, but also a highly emotional one at that, which is no coincidence. According to him, the concept car's lines consistently follow the brand’s new era “design DNA,” which was developed by their team. This DNA’s key stylistic traits are simplicity, durability, perfection of its technologies, purity, and quality.
Bischoff adds that the VW E-Up concept is, therefore, in harmony with its ‘siblings’ in the New Small Family, as well as the Roadster BlueSport and new Polo. He also says that the concept’s dimensions are 3.19 meters long, 1.64 meters wide, and 1.47 meters high, while its wheelbase measures 2.19 meters.
In terms of its front end, the VW E-Up! Concept’s styling has been developed from the Up! line, but its electric car version differs from traditionally powered models in the company’s new model series. The concept car perfectly fits in with VW’s new family face, but when it comes to the engine bonnet, it refers back to one well-known icon in automotive history: the Beetle. The VW E-Up!, nevertheless, does not reveal even the slightest touch of retro styling. Instead, the design team created unmistakable styling tools that carry the small VW far into the future.