Volkswagen is taking a more-is-better approach with its new Up! microcar, with possible plans to expand the family by six members. The following Up! variants shown at the Frankfurt Auto Show are part of the VW’s newly formed “New Small Family,” and while most are purely concept cars, two are scheduled to appear in showrooms in the next few years.
First up (pun intended) is the eco Up!, which will be fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) and powered by a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine rated at 67 hp. Volkswagen didn’t offer an exact launch date in its press release, but promises that it should be on the road long before the next Frankfurt show. BlueMotion Technology (engine Start/Stop and battery regeneration) will follow shortly after the initial launch.
Launching in 2013 is the e-Up!, an all-electric, zero-emissions vehicle that will have a max power rating of 80 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 81 mph. The 18 kWh battery pack will provide 81 miles of range. More details should arrive closer to its launch.
The buggy Up! concept is based on the iconic beach buggies that crowded California beaches during the 1960s. Modified for duty on the surf and sand, the historic cars were based on the original Beetle and featured corrosion resistant glass-reinforced plastics and an open-cabin design absent of doors and a roof. The buggy Up! concept features a modern twist on the beach buggy with 18-inch wheels, loud colors, and waterproof interior.
Up! Azzurra sailing team
Perhaps the classiest of the bunch is the Up! azzurra, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Walter de Silva, both of whom “grew up in nautical environments.” This version of the Up! will feature yacht-like characteristics including an open-cabin concept, rich wood trim, chrome components, and white-blue leather.
Like many of VW’s cross models, the cross Up! was penned with a rugged lifestyle in mind and includes rugged bumpers, underbody protection, and higher ground clearance. VW also states that the cross Up! provides a preview of how a four-door Up! may look like in the future.
This will be the performance-focused model with an engine tuned to 99 hp, up from 74 hp in the normal Up! model. With a curb weight of just 1,984 pounds, Volkswagen claims the GT Up!’s driving dynamic should mirror the first-generation GTI. The GT Up! attempts to make stronger ties to the iconic hatchback with a honeycomb grille. A roof-mounted spoiler, dual-chrome exhaust, and 17-inch wheels round off the sporty look.