• Nov 26, 2008
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Volkswagen up! concept

European manufacturers seem to have been taken aback by the recent success of their microcars. Now that consumers have gotten a taste of what life is like when you're choosing between filling your tank or your stomach, industry insiders are predicting that the microcar category will only pick up steam. Daimler is sitting pretty with its smart brand, BMW is working on a city-spec Isetta revival, Toyota has responded with its diminutive iQ and VW went small with its Up! concept cars. But VeeDub's got even smaller ideas on its corporate mind, working on an smaller city car to slot below its already dinky Up! model.

Power for the city car will come from either a 1.2L four cylinder or an oil-burning three-pot. That gasoline engine is expected to feature cylinder cutoff technology so it can operate on just half of its allotment of pistons when full power isn't necessary. All of that adds up to an estimatged 117 miles per gallon. And naturally, an electric drivetrain is also in the works.

Current rumors indicate that the German automaker has given this new model priority status, working to get the car on UK roads by 2011. It all sounds good so far, minus the name: Chico. We're confident that they can think of something better.

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will not make 117mpg. Not on any reasonable test. Not even on European overinflated tests. It's an insult to the reader to even say such a thing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They estimagated it. That's different.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @zamafir:

        VW would have to achieve 39 more MPG to hit that 117 MPG estimation, not 22. That's exactly 50% higher fuel economy than the A2 TDI that you cited, which is no small feat. The article is somewhat unclear as to which powertrain is estimated at 117 MPG, but it sounds to me like the I-4 gas engine - so that's another hurdle to overcome. Not to mention, I'd assume the 78 MPG used the pre-2008 fuel economy ratings, which are now tighter. Even with a very small, very light I-4 running on the freeway with 2 cylinders deactivated, 117 MPG is very hard to believe. Motorcycles don't achieve that kind of fuel economy, and they're lugging around thousands fewer pounds.

        Also, you seem to suggest that the Veyron was a successful project. I wouldn't exactly call it that - sure, they ultimately released a car, but it was late, way overpriced, overweight, and (in my opinion) substantially underperforming given its potential.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Of course it will get 117 miles per gallon.







        Rolling downhill in neutral.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm not sure why not, the A2 TDI managed 78MPG almost a decade ago, and it was using a larger, older, powerplant. Provide VW sticks to the same formula it shouldn't be that hard to eek out 22 more MPG than they were getting 9 years ago. Hell it even set a few endurance records managing 128MPG back then (hypermiling of course)

        I'd expect a lot of the concept to make production, from the composite dash (cheap to build, light, not bad looking) to those very thin seats, everything about the UP! concept felt production ready (even that apple interface), sparse, and purposeful. Besides, the last time a VW chairman said he wanted something done, they did it, the Veyron. Now we have had them saying for the last 3 years that they'll put a 1L car into production between 2010-2012. I don't foresee any issues meeting that goal, especially in the European market, with this platform.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't misunderestimate VW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My stomach hurts from laughing. It's such a small mistake, but so glaringly funny. Ahh...recession? What bad news?

        This is beginning to turn out like 'Ring times and horsepower numbers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Go play in the street. Preferably a very busy street.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, yeah. Very funny, children.

        Add 22 mpg to break 100mpg. You can see what zamafir was aiming at without having to break out the calculator.

        Yes, even 117mpg is possible in a car designed around a single figure. Citing motorcycles as evidence that a bigger, heavier vehicle cannot achieve a high mpg is shortsighted: most motorcycles struggle to get better than 50 mpg, while many cars are already breaking this figure.

        As for "overinflated European tests" -- has nobody told you that U.S. gallons are 10% smaller?

        Now run along children -- go and play with the trains or something.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Zamafir:

      It wouldn't be absurd to make a "people's car" again. Look at the Tata Nano in India...not that I suggest VW to go to that level, but I would like to see a VW with nothing fancy.

      A small VW with no AC, manual window openers, no radio, no nothing, plastic body panels etc.. could make it a lot cheaper than the Golf/Rabbit. A car in the $7000-8000 range could be a hit, especially in tough economic times like these.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Is the versa a hit? or the accent? What current sub $10,000 car is flying off the lots to substantiate the idea that americans are looking for super cheap cars, especially without AC, etc.

        What i'm trying to reiterate is that VW is not today the company it was 60 years ago, just as every other automaker isn't (hell Lexus and Acura didn't even exist until recently on that 6 decade timeline). VW isn't investing in providing americans with stripped down cars because that's not where their passion as a car company lies.

        We will be getting a hybrid jetta/passat decontented to save money, but i've yet to hear a reasonable explanation why vw should abandon current vehicle lineups, ie: this new midsize for america, and target cars costing less then say a kia or a hyundai, as you are explicitly asking for.

        Look at VW's growth over the last decade, they're comfortable selling cars at higher profit margins than something that costs $7,000 would allow, it's not hard to see why the rabbit isn't the cheapest hatch around, that's not their focus. And until I see VW teetering on bankruptcy as opposed to trading at levels over 100x higher than Ford, I'll be humble and consider their management as on track.

        We love to sit here and posit all these great ideas, $7,000 cars without auto boxes or air con (great luck selling that in america's largest car market, california) but those fantasies and speculation are just that. If you take a step back and just look at a company it's not hard to see where and why they're making money.
        American’s aren’t begging for cheaper cars, they’re purchasing cars less often because the credit crunch has made everyone realize keeping up with the joneses by draining the equity out of their homes to buy a hummer every year makes no sense. It’s not a lack of sub $10,000 cars. Unless, of course, there are some hidden figures for Aveo sales I’m not seeing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The name sucks.

      I would officially like to kick off the campaign to rename it the "Yours". To compliment VW's other upcoming small vehicle.

      Now that I have had my fun I look forward to seeing it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Suprised so many like it, or do you like VW because whenever the SmartForTwo comes up people cant wait to call it ugly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe it is possible....

      it says " estimatged 117 miles per gallon "

      ESTIMATGED!!

      Maybe ESTIMATGES means +/- 60 ... lol
      • 6 Years Ago
      The gas engine was 1.2L 4cyl., the diesel was the 3cyl., dumkopf ! ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ Zamafir,

      There was a 70 MPG B-segment car unveiled at the LA Auto Show just this past Monday (I'm sure it'll get posted at some point, ABG and C&D were there). It wasn't as aerodynamic as it could be and it was a four cylinder engine tuned more for performance than efficiency. Given VW focus on aerodynamics and the efficiency of the 3-cylinder, like you, I see absolutey no reason as to why this couldn't happen.
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