Automotive manufacturer Volkswagen is known for their often compact, yet powerful car models, and the ‘Up!’ series it launched at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show is no exception. It introduces the concept of the NSF, or new small family car, ideal for urbanites, who want a car that is sleek, economic and provides ample options to choose from within its range. The car is 3.5 meters long and 1.6 meters wide, which makes city parking a breeze. First revealed as a concept in 2007 and as prototype in 2009, the Up! features 59 or 74 hp, revolutionary bluemotion energy-saving technology, a start-stop response of 67 mpg and less than 100 g/km in CO2 emissions. The series includes three- and five-door models, as well as an electric version. This mini-coupe range, expected to hit markets in 2013, includes the luxury open-top Up! Azzura Sailing Team, the open-top Buggy Up!, ideal for urban explorers, the Cross Up! designed for higher speeds, the high-performing GT Up! sports coupe, the natural gas-fueled Eco Up! and the electric E-Up!
The Up! Azzura Sailing team was designed by Italians Giorgetto Giugiaro and Walter De Silva with an open chassis, no doors, no roof, and an interior reminiscent of a yacht’s, with white leather seats, a mahogany dashboard and wooden inlays. The Buggy Up! is slightly bulkier, with more length (an extra 1.7 inches) and width (an extra 1.2 inches) added onto it, yet not C-pillars, as featured by the basic model, and significantly shorter (by 7.4 inches). It’s designed for off-road experiences, specifically sandy beaches, its interior is waterproofed and the floors feature drains. The trunk lid was designed with two segments, which lift up and fold down, respectively. There is an iPod dock with integrated loudspeakers inside, which can also be removed, for outdoor use. The Cross Up! looks most like a classical Volkswagen, with its four doors, and family-focused, urban-oriented design. The GT Up! is the sportier of the family, with an engine of up to 100 hp, a rear spoiler and a reworked front bumper, customized to include a cooling air system within the honeycomb griller. The daytime running lights are sustainable LEDs and its double exhaust system includes two chrome tailpipes. The final two models are the most environmentally friendly ones. The E-Up! produces zero CO2 emissions thanks to its 54 hp electric motor, which can run up to 84 miles per hour. It also features an 18kWh battery, which enables the driver to course over up to 80 miles in a single charge. Last, but not least, the Eco Up! combines the natural gas-fueled engine with the bluemotion technology, plus two tanks which can hold up to 19 gallons of gas, for a 1.0 liter three-cylinder 67 hp engine. All in all, no matter your urban lifestyle and priorities (speed, fun, your loved ones or the environment), this little brave car is versatile enough to accommodate any and all of your needs.