• Feb 11th 2008 at 1:30PM
  • 42
click above for high-res gallery of the Volkswagen up! Space concept

Volkswagen may be serious about returning to its "people's car" roots by importing a small vehicle to the U.S. with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, told Automotive News that something like the Polo could fly here in the States, as well as "lifestyle" vehicles like the smart and MINI, and something he described as a "little bit SUV-looking and a little van."

The inclusion of a new, economical model into Volkswagen's lineup could be based around the up! concepts that have made appearances on the auto show circuit this past year, and Jacoby hopes that pricing could be set in the $13,000 to $14,000 realm. The move is in an effort to capitalize on American's supposed desire for more fuel-efficient models that won't break the bank and cause less cringing at the pumps. However, despite Jacoby's comments about small vehicles, VW is still contemplating a return of the Phaeton to the U.S. – something that's directly opposed to its desire of become a more affordable marque for the masses.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      You can still turbo charge a 3 or 2 cylinder car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "14K? um sorry, aside for the novely of it no one is going to pay 14k for one when they can get a fire sale Hyundai/kia/Focus/Cobalt for $9995"


      A 1.4L turbo could be a very capable engine. VW has shown in some cases that it's able to build a quality product with a nicely appointed interior. Furthermore, this thing would slot right next to the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and Nissan Versa. All of those start out around $14K and are selling quite well.

      The Honda Fit, well-optioned and with the standard dealer markup, easily approaches $20K out-the-door (I shopped them myself). If VW could really deliver this car, and not curse it with New Beetle ailments, I'd seriously consider it, as I think many others would too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They are able to sell the Rabbit for $ 14k
      and it is made in Germany, so why not this?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Go for it VW, but offer both gas and diesel engines. Also give us a good manual and maybe one of those DSGs. Make its interior as versatile as a Fit and endow it with supple ride quality we are used to seeing in VW products.

      As for the Prius haters the answer is 4.2 years. That is the amount of time it take to recoup the hybrid premium:

      • 7 Years Ago
      Honda and Toyota BOTH manufacture in Mexico. It is the company that matters, not the location.
      • 7 Years Ago
      there is nothing wrong with the build quality in mexico, my family has 2 07 vw's, one gti (germany) and one jetta (mexico). and if it came down to rattles, the gti definitely has more than the jetta, of which the jetta has none.

      the quality control in mexico is fine our previous volkswagen, an '00 jetta, also built in mexico, didnt have any problems either.
      • 7 Years Ago
      O...M....G -- VW is actually making a smart business move in the United States! If they figure out a way to sell a small TDI here, VW will return to its glory days in the States...especially if it is tuner friendly and relatively simple to service at home (e.g. oil/filter changes on my 2006 TDI are dead simple).

      • 7 Years Ago
      People buy the Prius because of all the green hype.

      Up to 3 years ago Audi made a very similar car to the Prius.
      It was called the A2, it had a full aluminium body which made it light, and with a cd of less then 0.29 very aerodynamic. It was even just as roomy as the Prius.

      In it's 110hp 1.6 FSI form it produced with 45+mpg excellent economy and performance with a 0-60 in 9 seconds. Thanks to the weight of only 990kg.
      In it's most economic 1.2 TDI form it could get up to 75MPG.

      Yet because of the aluminium body it was pretty expensive when it was released in 2000. (Funnily a good deal cheaper then the Prius is now).
      So not that many people wanted to pay so much money for an economic mpv/hatch style vehicle.

      Yet nowadays you see the Prius everywhere.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My '93 Civic VX Hatch gets 63mpg city driving 1-3-5 style, but it has no options, but you can a ridiculous amount of stuff. I'm sure at $1,500 it will take a long time to pay for itself compared to a Prius. Like maybe 3 services or 4 to 5 payments.
      • 7 Years Ago
      love it, i truely would buy one tomorrow becuase I want a flexible, rational car with a hint to history. My vanagon syncro just doesn't cut it at 14mpg!

      As always the best euro cars will never make to the USA and I'm sure this one will not either...plus they will dumb down this great design by the time it gets to production. It will look like a vibe or matrix!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm definately in the "tiny turbo charged engine" camp over the "heavy, toxic, pointless" hybrid camp. But America's "intelligencia" have already been conned into thinking that hybrids are the way to go. I'm just not sure that they're ready for another re-education so soon. And BTW my silver pony-tailed friends, the Prius does come equipped with turn signals, please use them.
        • 7 Years Ago
        what is this "intelligencia" you speak of?

        every analysis done by anyone remotely impartial has come to the conclusion that hybrids take way to long to pay off the initial expense and that they make no economic sense in all but the most extreme cases.

        they sell because there are enough lacrosse moms out there willing to spend the extra $5k for a giant tree hugger bumper sticker so they can talk down on the previous cool car to have, the ford extinction.

        just because it is something that people in california do, do not assume that it is because the SF/LA/NY Times told them to.

          • 7 Years Ago
          Maybe some people buy a Prius, not to save money, but just to spend less gas... I rented a Prius and averaged 45 mpg on my 600+ trip. It is a very competent car, with much better acceleration than I anticipated. You can bash it all you want but the sad thing is there are no other car in the US for sale right now which come close to it. This is why the Prius sells.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow. Bitter much? Hybrid run over your dog?
      • 7 Years Ago
      @JR, they won't build them in germany. Why autoblog hasn't linked the the countless stories on this cheap, rear engined, rwd platform is beyond me. It's focused mostly on the developing world, and will spin off into other markets ie the US. Having sat in one, It's beyond on par with cars at the 14,000$ price point, and i'd wager a smaller lighter rear engined car would be a bit more entertaining to drive to boot. Though I agree, this car needs to come in at something a bit lower, maybe a SMART base 11.9k. We'll See. But I seriously doubt this coming in at just 1 grand or so under the rabbit, what with the new Jetta 2.0T getting ready to release $3,000 cheaper then it was two years ago.
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