We'd already heard that we wouldn't be getting the conventionally-powered version of Volkswagen's city car, the Up! Now we hear, per Autocar, that it won't be called the Up!, it will be called Lupo. The Lupo, a nameplate known throughout Europe until it ceased production in 2005, was VW's small, sub-Polo offering. In its new incarnation, the Lupo will replace the Fox, currently the smallest VW sold.
The conventional power of the Up!/Lupo will also come with a more conventional powertrain layout. The rear underfloor-mounted engine was innovative yet ultimately too complex for production. The Lupo that goes on sale next summer is expected to be offered with the choice of either a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine putting out 75 horsepower or a 1.2-liter Bluemotion-branded diesel.
The E-Up that will supposedly hit our shores in 2013 might be coming as an Audi only. The VW Group plans to spread the Up!/Lupo gospel throughout its companies, but the electrified version is being worked on "in partnership with" Audi. Since Audi's already getting all kinds of electric ink in the U.S. thanks to its sexy e-tron concepts, and with the price premium electric cars command, we wouldn't be surprised if the electric Lupo initially comes to the U.S. wearing interlocking nose rings.