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VW Up beats 3 Series and 911 for top gong

Up the top: Volkswagen's Up will arrive in Australia with a World Car trophy.

Smallest Volkswagen stands tall as Up wins 2012 World Car of the Year

Volkswagen logo6 Apr 2012

VOLKSWAGEN’S little Up has made a big impression, becoming the third VW in four years to win the World Car of the Year title.

Announced in conjunction with the New York motor show, the 2012 award placed the all-new sub-Polo city car – due in Australia at the end of this year – ahead of the new BMW 3 Series and Porsche 911 in the minds of the WCOTY jurors – 64 motoring journalists from 25 countries.

The Up was praised buy the panel for bringing premium qualities to the city car category.

“The Up has altered what we have come to expect from the citycar segment,” the jurors said in announcing the award.

“Of note are the responsive steering, sophisticated suspension setup, new efficient engines and the quality of materials and finish.

“Never before in this economy segment have owners felt so premium. Look for every builder of citycars to up its game just to compete with the new VW.”

VW Group chairman Martin Winterkorn said the award again showed that VW designers and engineers had created a vehicle that has been thought through in minute detail – “a vehicle that sets standards in its class for efficient use of space, safety, motoring fun and environmental compatibility”.

The one-size larger VW Polo won the award in 2010, while the even larger Golf was victorious in 2009. VW’s luxury brand Audi took the prize in 2005, meaning the German conglomerate has one half of the eight titles in the award’s eight years.

Thirty-four cars released since January 2011 were considered for the award, before these were whittled down to a shortlist of 10 and then the three finalists – Up, 3 Series and 911.

The Up is scheduled for Australian release in the final quarter of this year, with the entry level three-door priced from about $15,000 and the five-door model about $500 more.

The Up is powered by a 55kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, with either a five-speed manual or semi-automatic ASG transmission.

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