Volkswagen is working hard to make the up!
a reality, but the technological challenges of a rear engine, RWD car are proving to be more daunting than expected. The VW engineering team is reportedly having trouble conjuring up a low cost rear-engine layout. The problem has been trying to accommodate a radiator in the up!'s nose and transferring coolant through the car. Early up! prototypes are also having a difficult time with cross-wind stability due to the unbalanced heft of its rear drive/rear engine layout. To correct these issues, some styling changes may be necessary, but if the basic shape of the up! is compromised, the German automaker may have to look at front wheel drive as an option. In spite of any problems engineers are having, VW executives are confident any difficulties will be overcome.
We're hoping that means we can still expect the inexpensive hatch to be pushed via the rear wheels just like the original Bug. Then again, the Mini has proved that small cars can be fun and driven by the front wheels, and as long as the up! is cheap, efficient, and adorable, there will be plenty of buyers.