The world premiere of the new up! at the 64th International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt does not just involve the debut of one model. Rather, the world premiere of the two-door up! signifies the beginning of an entire series of cars: the New Small Family. At the IAA, Volkswagen is demonstrating – with no less than 6 exciting concept cars – how this family could be further developed based on the new up!. Specially designed for the world’s beaches are the buggy up! and the up! azzurra sailing team. Then there is the cross up!, which was conceptualised for urban driving. The GT up! is a concept car tuned for the German Autobahn. Another concept car is the eco up! that is powered by natural gas and extremely clean to drive: The e-up! is a zero-emissions specialist with an electric drive. And it all starts now!
Freedom. A buggy is more than just a car; it is an automotive lifestyle feeling. It was born in California in the 1960s and was based on the Beetle, which provided the engine and the chassis. The rest was created by buggy pioneers such as American Bruce Meyers: out of GRP, or glass-reinforced plastics. Buggies have had a cult following that continues to today. That is reason enough for Volkswagen to now present a 21st century buggy concept based on the new up!: the buggy up!. This buggy is not made of GRP, but instead of strong, high-tech, lightweight construction steels. Yet, the conceptual approach for developing the two-seater, as original as it is, still follows the lead of historic models from California.
Openness. The (reinforced) underbody, running gear and drive technology of the up! were kept, while the roof-less exterior skin of the body was completely redesigned, and the ride height was lowered by 20 mm. Nonetheless, the design of the buggy up! with its headlights, the position of the VW badge – and signature trait of the front bumper that appears to smile – all tie the car to the two-door up!. Yet, everything is different: the bonnet is built much flatter, the bumpers show an independent character, the roof is not just clipped off, rather it takes its idea from small convertible sports cars. The rear section was also completely redesigned. This is logical, because the buggy up! does not have a boot like the "normal" up!, nor does it have any C-pillars. However, it is immediately recognisable as an up! by its rear lights, which are like a reflection of the headlights. Practical: the bootlid is constructed of two pieces; the main part of the lid lifts upward like a classic bootlid, but the section above the bumper folds down, like the tailgate on a pick-up. And this makes it extremely easy to stow even heavy and bulky items. On top of the lid, there are also tie-down straps for a set of luggage.
Safe. The designers also made this up! a purebred buggy in its side profile. Of course, it has no doors, but in their place it has extensive body reinforcements and a sturdy roll bar behind the two seats. Especially cool: the open side sills. This makes the experience of open-air driving even more exciting than in a conventional convertible.
Snappy. At 3,584 mm, the buggy up! is somewhat longer than the production up! with a hard top (+44 mm), and its width of 1,672 mm is somewhat wider (+31 mm). As might be expected, the height of the buggy up! comes in significantly lower at 1,288 mm (-190 mm). The minimalistic overhangs, front and rear, show sharp styling. Filling the wheel housings are 18-inch alloy wheels – enormous for a vehicle of this size – which have 205/40 tyres.
Colourful. The area above the bumper and the open side sills are in the colour "hot orange", which was specially created for this vehicle; those who think back to the buggies of the 1960s when they hear this colour name are right on track. The bumpers and side sills are designed in a matt and rugged "metallic grey" colour. The same colour schemes dominate in the interior.
Waterproof. As is proper for a beach vehicle, the new interior styling is completely waterproof. Drains in the vehicle floor and the open side sills prevent flooding. Even the neoprene coated shell seats have water drains, so that no water accumulates in the vehicle after a swim in the ocean. If it should rain for a longer period of time, it is possible to stretch a sail between the window frames and the roll bar.
Sound. The controls for the infotainment system also sport a waterproof design. Among its features, the system has an iPod/iPhone dock. The entire module can be removed – including the integrated active loudspeakers – so that it can be used as a sound system for parties on the beach.
Go-kart. Compared to the two-door up! the buggy up! has a lower seat position – in keeping with the lower vehicle height. The specially designed seats were lowered by 58 mm compared to the production model. To ensure that everything makes ergonomic sense for the driver, engineers reduced the basic angle of the height-adjustable steering wheel by 4 degrees to an angle of 21 degrees. The result is a go-kart feeling. A sturdy handle is installed on the dash panel for the front passenger – just as it once was in the Beetle – because one never knows what lies over the next dune. In essence, the buggy up! is pure emotion, but it is easy to drive and very safe. A car that would not only be good to drive in California. One thing should be made up!solutely clear at this point: the New Small Family is just beginning to grow ...
The up! azzurra sailing team was created by Italian designers Giorgetto Giugiaro and Walter de Silva. Giugiaro and de Silva both grew up in nautical environments. And it was in this environment that the up! azzurra sailing team was created – a prototype of an open, small, eco-friendly automobile for the world’s marinas. Giorgetto Giugiaro, born in Garessio – a town near the Ligurian coast where the sea breezes blow strong – and Walter de Silva – born in Lecco on Lake Como – have extended the potential range of the New Small Family here to include a nautical version. The prototype’s name comes from a yacht club on the Costa Smeralda.
The up! azzurra sailing team retains the original character of the up! with its precise and appealing lines. Yet the concept vehicle is completely open – there are no doors or roof. This lets the driver and passengers enjoy the summer breezes, as if they were aboard a boat.
High-tech and highly stylish materials are used inside the vehicle, all of which are completely waterproof, and they intentionally resemble the fittings of a luxury yacht. These features include the four seats in white-blue leather, numerous chrome components and a dashboard in mahogany with maple wood inlays. Its surfaces are coated in a synthetic resin.
The up! azzurra sailing team is more than just a prototype – it forges a link between the heritages of Italian yachts and German automobiles. And that is how an up! was created with a Mediterranean soul!
Near production. The up! family continues with the cross up!. It is also still a concept car, but it demonstrates three 3 aspects very clearly: 1. How the four-door up! will look. 2. What the four-door up! might look like in a cross up! version. 3. That Volkswagen will be expanding its successful cross programme over more models. Cross models that are currently available are the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran. Cross stands for customised and especially rugged Volkswagen designs with rugged lifestyle qualities.
up!date. Aside from its cross features, characteristics distinguishing this member of the New Small Family compared to the two-door car are of course the additional doors and the fully independent styling of the C-pillars. While the shoulder or ‘tornado’ line and windows ascend towards the rear near the C-pillars on the two-door car, on the four-door car the two elements form a straight line. This gives this body variant its independence, and it has a nearly van-like appearance. As on the two-door version, the C-pillars are also supported over the rear wheel housings; in conjunction with the extremely short rear overhang, this creates a very powerful, dynamic appearance.
Rugged qualities. Typical of a cross model from Volkswagen: the wheel well extensions and side sill extensions designed in a dark anthracite (with satin effect) as well as the black side protection strips above the sills; worked into these strips is the "cross up!" signature. The rugged bumpers are also a new design. Eye-catching at the front is the silver cross-bar in the bumper which has integrated fog lights and an air intake with a honeycomb grille that is distinctly larger, especially towards its bottom. Also designed in a silver colour is the underbody protection. The rear of the car also has a counterpart to this underbody protection and a silver cross-bar on the bumper. Another unmistakable trait of the cross version is its greater ground clearance: 15 mm higher.
Tornado red. The concept car makes its appearance with "Tornado Red" exterior paint and other silver elements. Such as with machine-polished 16-inch alloy wheels in cross design ("mythos" type) and 185 tyres; the red circle around the VW logo at the centre of the wheel matches the colour of the body. The roof rails of the cross up! concept car are painted in "matt silver". Matching them in styling are the door mirror caps in "light silver".
Living spaces. As soon as one of the doors or the bootlid of the cross up! is opened, the view is of the seats in their special cross trim (red centre panels, grey side panels). As in all up! models, the dash pad (designer panel in the cockpit in front of the driver and front passenger) and upper door trim panels are painted; in this case, it matches the exterior colour "Tornado Red". Other accents such as the bezels of the air nozzles and the centre console are designed in black piano paint. A "small leather pack" with coloured decorative seams upgrades the steering wheel, gear shift grip and parking brake grip. Last but not least, door sill guards with the "cross" signature protect against tracks left by either rugged or party shoes.
Agility. Volkswagen will offer the new up! with engines whose power only ranges up to 55 kW / 75 PS. That makes sense, because the up! is primarily driven in the urban world. However, the car design could handle much more power. And that too can be desirable. Showing how such a more powerful up! might appear is the highly dynamic GT up!. Conceivably, its engine could have a power of 100 PS. Such an engine would offer drivers of the barely 900 kg GT up! more affordable driving fun than hardly any other vehicle. This would be very much in the style of the ancestor of the sporty small car – the first generation GTI. When an I is added for injection, its identifier refers to the Volkswagen icon. And the GT up! is performing on the same playing field.
Dominating. The concept car is painted in the sporty colour "oryx white pearl effect". Designers completely redesigned the front bumper. It deviates completely from the typical up! design: instead of the centrally integrated and painted cross-wise component, which is in metal colour on the cross up!, the GT up! features a large, central cooling air intake with a grille in honeycomb look – similar to the one used on the Golf GTI, for example. Outside there are two cooling air intakes for the brakes; integrated in these openings are the wing-shaped LED daytime running lights. Prominent on its sides are the painted side sills, black door mirrors and 17-inch alloy wheels with 195 tyres. A roof edge spoiler generates tremendous downforce at the rear axle, and powerful sound is generated by a double flow exhaust system with two visible chrome tailpipes, one on the left and one on the right.
Ergonomics. Inside, the GT up! also projects a dynamic image with its anthracite coloured interior. Offering a contrast to the anthracite are the centre seat panels with their blue checked pattern and the "paint blue" rings around the air vent nozzles. Painted in a sophisticated glossy black are the dashboard and upper door trim panels. The black roofliner is coordinated with them.
EcoFuel. At the 2011 IAA, Volkswagen is presenting an up! which – thanks to its natural gas engine (EcoFuel) and BlueMotion Technology (Stop/Start system and battery regeneration) – emits just 79 g/km CO2, a new best value in CO2 emissions: the eco up!. So far, no one has documented such low emissions in a small car with CNG natural gas drive. Moreover, this fuel offers tremendous advantages: natural gas engines are very clean and receive favourable taxation benefits in such countries as Germany. When used in the smallest vehicle class, natural gas drives – besides achieving these best values in emissions – are significantly more economical than hybrid systems that are unrealistically expensive in the small car segment. So, even though the natural gas version of the eco up! with BlueMotion Technology is still a concept car at this IAA, by the time of next year’s IAA it will have long been on the road as a production vehicle.
EcoFuel facts: Volkswagen is also using a newly developed 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine for the eco up!. It outputs 50 kW / 68 PS. As an EcoFuel version without BlueMotion Technology, the car will already launch on the market next year. Its combined fuel consumption: 3.2 kg/100 km natural gas (CNG = Compressed Natural Gas). This value is equivalent to a CO2 value of 86 g/km, which is already extremely low. As a BlueMotion Technology version in the style of the eco up!, fuel consumption drops to 2.5 kg/100 km and CO2 emissions are reduced to the mentioned 79 g/km. As noteworthy as the environmental aspect: fuel costs per 100 km are well under 2.50 euros (price in Germany in August 2011)! It is hardly possible to drive more economically than this.
Natural gas tanks in the underbody. These incredible values are made possible by the high energy content of the natural gas; one kg of CNG has the same energy content as about 1.5 litres of petrol. The natural gas is stored in 2 underfloor tanks (combined fuel capacity: 72 litres or 11 kg CNG) located near the rear axle. Tank 1 is located in front of the axle together with a 10-litre reserve petrol tank; tank 2 makes use of the spare wheel recess. Since the entire EcoFuel system was integrated in the vehicle structure, it does not impose any limitations on the car, except for the use of the spare wheel recess.
Colourful. The eco up! with 16-inch alloy wheels is painted in the light colour "oryx white pearl effect". A visual link to the theme of natural gas: the turn indicator covers of the rear lights are tinted blue. Inside, the basic colour of the concept car is anthracite. This also applies to the centre seat panels in "lorno" fabric. Forming a colourful contrast to the anthracite is the yellow "neon" colour of the outer borders of the seats. It fits in well with the "limette" paint colour of the air vents. In turn, the air vents are colour coordinated with the dash pad in front of the driver and front passenger, centre console and door trim panels whose paint matches the exterior colour "oryx white pearl effect".
Enlightening. It has been decided: a production version of the e-up! will be launched on the market in 2013. At the IAA in 2011, Volkswagen is already presenting a near-production study of this zero-emissions car. It has a distinctive identifying characteristic at its front end: the arc-shaped layout of the LED daytime running lights in the bumper. Of technical interest: on the e-up!, the upper engine cooling air slot – a slot between the headlights and the VW logo – is fully covered by an elegant chrome trim strip. That is because narrow air intake slots above and below the licence plate suffice to cool the drive system of the e-up! that is painted in the colour "planet blue metallic".
Friendly. The interior of the e-up! is dominated by friendly beige colours; the designer panel in front of the driver and front passenger, centre console and door trim panels are painted in the new colour mix known as "two drops blue"; accents around the air vents glisten in a sophisticated black.
Silent. Supplying the propulsive power for the concept car, which can reach a top speed of 135 km/h, is an electric motor with a peak power of 60 kW (continuous power: 40 kW). As is typical of electric motors, the nearly silent motor develops a high maximum torque of 210 Newton metres from a standstill. The driver activates the forward or reversing gear by pushbutton on the centre console.
Energetic: The car’s battery capacity of 18 kilowatt-hours (kWh) enables distances of up to 130 km, depending on driving style – enough driving range for the city and for the trips of most commuters. The batteries themselves are located in the underbody of the e-up!. Meanwhile, all key drive and ancillary components are housed in front in the engine compartment.