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Frankfurt show: VW details Up

Plus two: The new five-door version of the Volkswagen Up -unveiled at this week’s Frankfurt motor show - will most likely be released soon after the three-door in Australia.

More info on the diminutive Volkswagen Up four-seater city car is released

14 Sep 2011


VOLKSWAGEN has released more details of the Up light car that is set for a late 2012 launch in Australia.

The new five-door version unveiled at this week’s Frankfurt motor show will most likely be released soon after the three-door Up in Australia, where it will take on four and five-door competitors such as the Suzuki Alto, Nissan Micra, Holden Barina Spark and Proton S16.

The company is keen to establish the Up as a key player in the sub-$15,000 end of the light car class and has emphasised that the newcomer will be a volume proposition, not just a small-time niche filler.

“We recognise that if we want to release the best-selling Up then it has to be the five-door model,” said Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Anke Koeckler.

“It is too early to say right now (but) I think we will launch with the three-door hatch first.”

VW is non-committal about which of the Frankfurt motor show concept cars that make it to production might be Australia-bound.

“We will look at every model,” said Ms Koeckler.

3 center imageLeft: VW Up three-door. Below: Full Up 'family' and the Up Buggy concept.

A vast number of Up concepts have already been rolled out since the first appeared at the 2007 Frankfurt show, including the Space Up mini MPV wagon, Up Lite super eco coupe and this year’s Buggy Up.

With the styling overseen by Volkswagen Group design boss Walter de Silva and brand manager Klaus Bischoff, the production Up three-door hatch is remarkably slippery despite its boxy shape, returning an aero value of 0.32Cd.

VW says the little car’s environmental impact over its lifetime is 21 per cent lower than its Brazilian-built Fox predecessor, which was not sold in Australia.

Weighing in as low as 929kg, the Slovakian-built Up has only been confirmed in aforementioned hatchback guises, although the Cross Up concept looks likely for production from 2012.

Three variations of an all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine will be available from launch in Europe in December – although only the most powerful of these will initially come to Australia.

Each will drive the front wheels through a new lightweight five-speed transmission in either manual or semi-automatic configuration.

The base engine produces 44kW at 5500rpm and 95Nm of torque from 3000 to 5000rpm to help it reach 100km/h in 14.5 seconds on the way to a 160km/h top speed. The manual returns 4.5L/100km and 105g/km of carbon dioxide.

Some models will include fuel-saving measures such as a stop/start system, battery regeneration and low-resistance tyres as part of the Bluemotion Technologies philosophy, which drops its eco figures to 4.2L/100km and 97g/km.

The regular version produces 55kW, but torque remains at 95Nm, improving the performance figures to 13.2s and 173km/h while fuel use increases by 0.2L/100km (or 0.1L/100km for the BMT version) and emissions rise by 3g/km (BMT: 2g/km).

A 50kW Compressed Natural Gas unit dubbed EcoFuel will also be offered, but not in Australia, even though it is the very greenest, using 3.2L/100km of CNG and emitting 79g/km. The twin tanks are integrated into the underfloor area without impeding cargo room, but at the expense of a spare wheel.

An electric model called the e-UP will be introduced in 2013 in Europe, using a 60kW electric motor and 18kw/h battery pack for a 140km/h top speed and range of up to 140km.

Strangely, considering VW’s expertise in this area, no diesel-engined models have yet been scheduled.

The Up is a conventional light car underneath, employing MacPherson struts with triangular transverse links up front and a torsion beam rear suspension set-up. Opting for the ‘Sport Chassis’ lowers the ride height by 15mm.

Brakes are discs up front and drums at the rear while the steering is via electric rack and pinion.

VW claims a best-in-class rigidity (19,800Nm/degree), while wheel sizes include 14-inch steel items wearing 165 tyres and both 15- and 16-inch alloys on 185 rubber.

Other options will include class-first automatic emergency brakes for the city, which uses laser technology to automatically apply the stoppers at up to 30km/h,An innovative iPad-style portable infotainment device will be available. Dubbed ‘maps+more’, it is transportable and can be had with navigation and Bluetooth connectivity.

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