The world premiere of the new Volkswagen up! took place at Frankfurt last week. The debut featured a number of models of the new micro car. Whether we will get the up in the USA is still not certain, but it is too cute to pass over.

Volkswagen is unveiled six exciting concept cars to demonstrate how this family could be further developed based on the new up!. Specially designed for the world’s beaches are the buggy up! and the up! azzurra sailing team. Then there is the cross up!, which was conceived for urban driving. The GT up! is a concept car tuned for the Autobahn. Another concept car is the eco up!, which is powered by natural gas and extremely clean to drive. Finally, the e-up! is a zero-emissions version with electric power.

Volkswagen says a production version of the e-up! will be launched on the market in 2013. At Frankfurt, Volkswagen presented a near-production study of this zero-emissions car. At its front end is a distinctive design detail: the arc-shaped layout of the LED daytime running lights in the bumper. Of technical interest the upper engine cooling air slot—between the headlights and the VW logo—is fully covered by an elegant chrome trim strip. That is because narrow air intake slots above and below the license plate serve to cool the drive system of the e-up!.

Supplying the propulsive power for the concept car, which can reach a top speed of 84 mph, is an electric motor that has a continuous output of 54 horsepower and a peak of 80 hp. As is typical of electric motors, the nearly silent power system develops a high maximum torque of 155 lb-ft. from a standstill. The driver activates the forward or reverse gear by a pushbutton on the center console.

The car’s battery capacity of 18 kWh enables distances of up to 80 miles, depending on driving style—enough driving range for the city and for the trips of most commuters. The batteries themselves are located in the underbody of the e-up!. Meanwhile, all key drive and ancillary components are located in the front engine compartment.

Obviously we would love to see the Volkswagen up! and the e-up! come to the States. We’ll have to wait and see.


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