Volkswagen promises to release the "Beetle of the 21st Century" by 2013. Those are some of the biggest shoes in the history of the automobile to fill, and VW plans to do just that with a new car based on the New Small Family architecture that was introduced on the original Up! concept that's been floating around for the last few years.
Naturally, like any future-spec concept that's looking to alter the vehicular landscape, the E-Up! will be powered by electrons. The car is small – under 10.5 feet (3.19 meters) in length – and will seat four occupants in a 3+1 arrangement. Top speed is listed at just under 85 miles per hour (135 km/h) and the run to 60 mph will take about 11 seconds while the city-centric zero to 30 mph is dispatched in just 3.5 seconds.
That performance is surely buoyed by the E-Up!'s low weight of about 2,400 pounds (1,085 kilometers) – 530 pounds of which is accounted for by the 18 kWh lithium ion battery pack. That's enough juice to provide a range of about 80 miles (130 kilometers), which VW believes is sufficient for urban use. Depending on the outlet used to charge the EV, a battery pack replenished to 80% takes as little as an hour.
VW is quick to point out that its E-Up! is not a retro design like its own New Beetle. Instead, the car used Volkswagen's latest design languages and draws inspiration from current models like the Polo and Golf. Details like diamond-cut head lamps and C-shaped fog lights join the solar roof that provides a working ventilation system without draining the battery to add to the car's futuristic feel. Click on past the break for the complete press release and check out our gallery of images below.