At the Beijing Auto Show, Volkswagen dropped jaws with a W12 motorized monstrosity of a Bentley SUV and a 600hp off-roadable Lamborghini. While these super SUVs are good for headlines, much slighter specimens will produce volume. Volkswagen plans SUVlets based on the Polo, and is working on pocket SUVs based on VW’s midgetmobile, the Up! If you think Volkswagen’s Tiguan is small, you’ll assume that the target group for the new class of minus-sized SUVs is ants. (Read More…)
When we talked about a four door version of Volkswagen’s hot-selling (in Europe, not available stateside) small car, the Up!, one commenter in particular equaled the car to a happy meal container and its owners to baby killers. A small car can be very safe – if its engineers know what they are doing. It just so happens that that little happy meal container is proof of it. It was elected one of Europe’s safest cars. (Read More…)
After having been more or less luckless (Lupo, Fox ..) in the minicar category, Volkswagen appears to have finally found a winner with its autocorrect-busting Up! In Germany, the two-door city car immediately took first place in its class. In December, the Up! sold nearly the same as the former class champs Renault Twingo and Toyota Aygo sold together (see table.) To make backseat drivers more comfortable, Volkswagen introduces a four-door version of the Up! (Read More…)
Some car companies would kill if they would have as many new cars in one year as Volkswagen shows concept cars at the Frankfurt International Auto show. Here is a quick overview. Most of them are offshoots of the new Volkswagen up!, which seems to be Volkswagen’s carmeleon. (Read More…)
Yesterday, we talked a little about Volkswagen’s latest small car, the up! We walked down memory lane, and compared the 2012 up! with the Polo of 1975. The up! is nearly as short as the Polo of ancient times (3.54 meters). The heftier bumpers don’t leave a car designer much choice. And speaking of heft: We wondered how the up! is doing in the weight department.
When the Polo was launched in 1975, it weighed in at 685 kg (1,510 lbs) – with four guys, you could solve parking problems manually. We didn’t have much entertainment in those years, and sometimes carried a Polo to spots that were a bit inaccessible on wheels, like up a flight of stairs. This was a source of a lot of fun, especially when viewed from a beer garden across the street.
Volkswagen did not disclose the curb weight of the new up!, so we called up! Herr Schröder in Wolfsburg on Monday morning and asked. (Read More…)
VW’s biggest news from LA today is the Up! Lite, no doubt designed by some uptight Germans intent on bring a strange looking, Germanically efficient vehicle to the shores of America (or Poland). Obviously a result of VW’s development of a 100+MPG 1+1 seater car, the 70 mpg Up! Lite makes up for its homely looks with in-town efficiency. But then its main competition, the Toyota iQ and Smart FortTwo aren’t exactly lookers themselves. Under the hood lurks a 0.8L TDI engine and a 10kw electric motor making for leisurely acceleration despite the featherweight kerb figures.