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Volkswagen presents Up five-door

Five-Up: The Volkswagen Up gains two extra doors for just 475 euros extra in Europe.

Five-door Up launched in Europe, expected to join three-door micro here early-2013

Volkswagen logo24 Jan 2012

By MARTON PETTENDY

VOLKSWAGEN has revealed pricing and specifications for the five-door version of its upcoming Up hatchback in Europe, where the more practical German city-car is now on sale for just 475 euros ($A585) more than the three-door.

While the three-door Up is locked in for a local launch by the end of this year priced from under $15,000, the five-door will also be positioned below the larger Polo here, priced from under $16,000.

Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) will reveal its Up plans tomorrow (January 25) and could announce that both Up models will be introduced simultaneously here in late 2012. The first five-door Up deliveries will take place across Europe by mid-year.

VW has forecast two-thirds of Up customers will be new to the brand and the five-door is expected to be the volume-selling version of the all-new sub-light (A-segment) hatch from Europe’s largest car-maker.

Previewed by the Cross Up concept at the Frankfurt motor show last September and now revealed in final production form for the first time, the five-door Up rides on the same 2420mm wheelbase as the three-door and also shares its 251-litre boot and new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.

3 center imageThe five-door is based on the same New Small Family (NSF) compact car platform as the three-door and offers the same rear-seat space, including 947mm of headroom (versus 993mm in the front) and 789 mm of legroom. As in the three-door, the rear seat base is slightly higher than that in the front, at 378mm (versus 306 mm) to give passengers a better view forward.

The five-door also comes with the same safety equipment as the three-door, including front and front-side airbags and ABS brakes with hydraulic brake assist, and is expected to achieve the same maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

In Europe, ESP electronic stability control is standard on all but the entry-level Take Up variant but should be fitted across the range here, while the advanced City Emergency Braking system, which uses sensors to automatically brake the car if a collision is imminent at speeds between 5 and 30km/h, is optional across the range.

Also optional across the European Up range but standard on the top-shelf High Up model is the Maps & More infotainment system, which combines navigation, telephone, information and entertainment functions via a portable touch-screen device which - unlike similar systems - is integrated with the vehicle’s operating network, providing vehicle information such as a parking sensor display.

The five-door brings to five the total number of model derivatives now confirmed for production on the Up’s all-new NSF compact car platform, which is now in production alongside the Touareg SUV at VW’s Bratislava plant in Slovakia, but will also be built in Brazil.

The manual-only Up three-door range hit Europe in December with two (44kW and 55kW) engines and three specification levels, but VW will this year add a five-speed single-clutch automated manual version and the natural gas-powered Eco Up, which it bills as the world’s cleanest combustion vehicle with CO2 emissions of just 79g/km.

The German giant has confirmed it will then release the all-electric e-Up in Europe in 2013, powered by a 60kW/210Nm electric motor and 18kWh battery pack. To be dubbed Up Blue-e-Motion, it can reach a top speed of 135km/h and can travel about 130km on a single charge.

VW’s first pure-electric car could also eventually be sold in Australia, but the German giant says it has no firm plans for diesel or LPG-powered versions of the Up, which has a base petrol weight of just 930kg.

A hot-hatch version of the Up – previewed by the GT Up at Frankfurt – and a crossover variant – in the same vein as the five-door Cross Up soft-roader concept – are also likely to eventuate in 2013.

Apart from VW Czech brand Skoda’s version of the Up – dubbed CitiGo - another derivative of the Up platform that should hit the road is a new compact people-mover seen in the form of the Kombi-styled Bulli six-seater.

The Up will cap another busy year of launches for Volkswagen in Australia. First Scirocco R deliveries take place later this month, before single-cab and eight-speed automatic versions of the currently manual-only Amarok dual-cab ute arrive mid-year, and the redesigned Beetle turns up fashionably late by year’s end.

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