Who Let The Lupo Out?
If you live in America or Canada, Volkswagen Lupo will tell you not much. In Europe, it will evoke an “ah, the Lupo, haven’t seen one for a while.” Well, that’s because Volkswagen had discontinued the small car in 2005. That’s not a long lifespan for a model that was introduced in 1997. All kinds of theories are floating around why VW stopped building the car. Here is the truth: lack of buyers. People looked at it, saw the price, and said: “For a little more, I get a real car. How about that Polo or Golf over there?” (If you are in Mexico, “Lupo” might sound familiar. But it’s actually a Brazilian Fox that is sold under the Lupo name.) Now would you believe that Volkswagen is resurrecting the ill-fated car?
Top News Arab Emirates (well, Qatar now owns part of Volkswagen, so they have to keep an eye on their holdings) reports that the cars VW had shown as the Up! Concept studies will finally see the showrooms with the Lupo name. And probably some other, as the car will be added to the Seat and Skoda families as well, The Lupo will be produced in Slovakia. It will be 2-inches narrower, 20-inches shorter and 1.3-inches taller than the Polo. Rumors have it that it will come with a 65-hp 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine and a 75-hp 1.2-liter diesel. Initially the car will be launched with a 3-door and later a 5-door model will launched with an 85-hp 1.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. (All the data sounds like Top News Emirates cribbed it from the German Wikipedia.) That Lupo might actually arrive at U.S. shores: “Volkswagen will also introduce the electric version of the car in limited markets in the United States,” say the guys from the Emirates.
Select markets means Boston NY and San Fran. Toronto Montreal Vancouver and Quebec. Madison, Austin Seattle? A few others. I'm in one of those and would go test drive on a sunny Sunday. Price it right please. If, come down to it, you kind of like cars but are really too fat for your truck and are eying your brother's bulldozer with longing eyes, you won't fit in this. Buy the new Jetta. Its tailored for you.
There was a blue Lupo here in DC for many years (diplomat tags--we get a lot of non-USA cars that way) and I was very impressed with the design. This new Lupo seems like a good idea as well. As others have pointed out, they are the right solution for certain cities (add DC to the list) and certain types of users. Then again, they must be priced right. If your main motive is a car that is cheap to operate and easy to park that you don't mind leaving on DC streets overnight, then you are better served with a Yaris or a beater MINI Cooper.
Back in the 90's the Lupo Diesel got about 78mpg. http://www.usatoday.com/money/consumer/autos/mareview/mauto497.htm Yes, many Americans want that Chevy Tahoe hybrid, and where I live in the U.S., having a huge car or SUV is a status symbol, and idea and social method of display that will never die. But I hope VW will send a high mileage LUPO to the U.S., priced sensibly. None of these small cars will last as long in my view, but I've run them 10 years before they start to seriously die. VW could make some customer marketing points with a high mileage Lupo here in the U.S.
in 2000 the new york times reported a little known fact , a diesel powered volkswagen Lupo had driven around the world averaging higher than 99MPG . the lupo was sold from 1998 to 2005 in europe they tried to bring it to the states but automakers prevented it from coming to market they claimed "americans had no interest in small fuel efficient cars" i call bullshit