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VW Australia rules out Cross Up

Cross-off: Volkswagen’s front-drive Cross Up emerges in production guise almost identical to the 2011 concept, with chunky wheelarches and bigger wheels.

Macho take on Volkswagen Up hatchback struck from Volkswagen Australia’s list

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Volkswagen logo11 Feb 2013

VOLKSWAGEN has taken its chunky Cross Up from concept to production, with a road-going version to debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

But the Wolfsburg marque’s more macho mini-car derivative will not appear in Australian showrooms any time soon, with the company’s local arm categorically ruling it out.

The production Cross Up emerges looking almost identical to the concept that first appeared at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.

Pitched somewhere between a small crossover SUV and a light-sized city car, it employs the familiar front-drive Up mechanicals, but is differentiated externally by its ‘rugged’ black plastic wheelarches and sills, silver roof rails and 16-inch alloy wheels clad in chunky 185/50 tyres.

Inside, the seats get special red or dark-grey trim, different instrument panel finish, leather steering wheel and handbrake, chrome highlights on the vents and speedo, and special lettering.

Under the bonnet sits the familiar 55kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine paired solely with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The Cross Up concept was one of many spun-off the regular Up hatch, including the electric e-Up and a beach buggy, but seemed the most likely to make production, along with the sporty GT that is still expected to get the green light.

Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Anke Koeckler told GoAuto last September that the company was not averse to widening its local range beyond the three- and five-door petrol/manual-only line-up currently offered.

However, general manager of communications Karl Gehling told us today that the company “does not see a need for that model here”, ruling out making a pitch to bring it Down Under – even if right-hand-drive were to be made available.

Volkswagen sold 107 Ups in January, placing it well behind price-point and size rivals including the Nissan Micra (620), Mitsubishi Mirage (534) and Suzuki Alto (293).

The three-door Up is priced from $13,990 plus on-road costs, with the five-door costing an extra $1000.

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