Volkswagen Gives You Ideas. Shows Seven Concepts At IAA

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

NILS: Singles are Germany’s largest demographic. Volkswagen will see to it that they stay alone with the electric single-seater NILS. “In Germany, 90 percent of car commuters are alone in their car,” says Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Director of Volkswagen Group Research. For that, they have the company of an aluminum space-frame body, wing doors and free-standing wheels :
e-up!: “It has been decided: a production version of the e-up! will launch on the market in 2013,” says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, head of development of the Volkswagen Brand. A near-production study of this zero-emissions car debuts at the 2011 IAA.
eco up!: Only 79g/km in CO2 emissions, running on all natural gas, BlueMotion Technology (Stop/Start system and battery regeneration), tax benefits in Germany. And take this, Toyota: “When used in the smallest vehicle class, natural gas drives, besides posting record low emissions, are significantly more economical than hybrid systems, which are too expensive for the small car segment,” says the press release.
buggy up!: No more plastic bodies: This buggy of strong, high-tech, lightweight construction steels. Surf’s up!
up! azzurra sailing team. Seems to be a tender to Giorgetto Giugiaro’s and Walter de Silva’s (and probably Piech’s) sailing yachts. And indeed, its is called “an open, small, eco-friendly automobile for the world’s marinas.” They were not kidding when they said that with the new kit architecture, the can go for the smallest niches.
cross up!: For those up! country tours.
GT up!: The GTI of the get up! generation. 100 hp are deemed plenty for the barely 900 kg up!





Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Sep 13, 2011

    The yacht version reminds me of a time cruising the Seine in Paris, about 6 years ago, I saw a Amphicar parked on the deck of a big private boat. With all the waacky offshoots of the Up!, I'm surprised they didn't update the VW Schwimmwagen concept of 60 years ago.

  • Demetri Demetri on Sep 13, 2011

    NILS concept is pretty cool. I'm crazy enough to buy something like that and drive it on American roads, as long as it's cheap, but I doubt anyone else is.

    • Slow kills Slow kills on Sep 13, 2011

      Yeah, sign me up for a modern Isetta. I hate passengers.

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.
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