Volkswagen unveiled its new Up! Concept, a small rear-engine car, at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. Speaking with the press in Frankfurt, Volkswagen CEO, Martin Winterkorn, said that the Up! concept was a “real Volkswagen.” He confirmed that the concept is one variant of a potential range of vehicles that VW is calling its ‘New Small Family’.
The rear-engine Up! Concept seen at Frankfurt was the first project Winterkorn starting pushing for when he took office this year. According to Adrian Hallmark, executive vice president of Volkswagen of America, the 2-door variant of the Up! seen in Frankfurt will be offered as a Smart ForTwo rival and will also come in a soft-top convertible version. The car, which is expected to arrive in the U.S. by 2010 or 2011, will be offered as both a full and mild hybrid.
Click through for the photo renderings and more info on the Up! variants.
Winterkorn says that the Up! concept represents everything he wants VW to stand for: low-priced mobility, environmental concern and technology.
With those three things in mind, Winterkorn hopes to offer a whole range of vehicles based on the flexible architecture of the Up! Concept. It is already confirmed that Volkswagen will be showing a 5-door minivan version of the Up! at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of this month. Later, Volkswagen will head to the LA Auto Show with a plug-in version of the Up!.
Also in the works is an SUV, or Cross, version of the Up!. The SUV version of the Up! will not be offered as a 4-wheel drive off-roader – instead it will be a compact SUV that will be offered in both gasoline, diesel and hybrid variants.
Each version of the Volkswagen Up! will be specially modified to cater to its respective market. Volkswagen hopes to deliver production versions of all Up! variants within the next 5 years.
Photo Rendering: Volkswagen Up! Convertible, 4-door and SUV Gallery: