Last week Volkswagen lit up the Frankfurt Motor Show with a series of six advanced-tech Up! pre-production and concept models.
The Up! microcar is meant to be frugal and small, but no one said it has to be boring or uninspired.
Following are briefs on the production cars, plus a couple of way-out models we can only hope VW will change up its plans and decide to build.
The Eco Up! CNG is scheduled for production first among the Up! family of cars in 2012. It is a three-cylinder hybrid that runs on natural gas. It features stop/start technology and regenerative braking.
The E-Up! is – you guessed it – the all-electric version. It feeds 80 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque through a single-speed transmission. Its estimated range is 81 miles from a battery pack concealed beneath the floor. Launch date in Europe is in 2013.
The Up! GT is turbocharged for a 25-horsepower increase totaling 100 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque. Daytime running lights, roof spoiler, 17-inch wheels and chrome exhaust accents jazz up the sporting pretensions of this little car.
The Up! Azzurra concept is a five-door version styled in a more utilitarian mode. With chunky tires, raised ride height, door sills, fender flares and more burley looking trim, it may not be ready for Baja, but it does look more ready for rougher roads, perhaps.
Inspired by VW-based dune buggies from decades past – and those that are still trolling around today – the Buggy Up! concept looks like too much fun, and we can only hope they’ll produce it. Among its features are removable speakers, an iPod dock, and waterproof interior complete with water drains in the seat shell and floor.
Another wild concept that may never make it to production is this all-electric Azzurra Sailing Team Up! designed by Giorgetto Guigaro. Like the Buggy, this one has a sort of aquatic theme too, but more of a nautical nature. The waterproof interior includes richly finished mahogany and maple wood. The seats are white and blue leather. Chrome and bright work add to the effect.