Volkswagen Up! family of Geneva Motor Show concepts

The Up! supermini goes on sale in Europe in a few days, but Volkswagen has already been hard at work casting about for ideas to expand beyond the three-door model available at launch. A five-door will go on sale later this year, and VW showed a few Up! concepts last fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show. For Geneva next week, the cute little city car gets four new outfits: Swiss Up!, Winter Up!, X Up!, and Cargo Up!

The Swiss Up! is the red one, notable only in that the seat backs contain leather bands suitable for storing Swiss Army knives (seriously?). If you can't figure out which one is the Winter Up!, perhaps you need to move further away from the equator. It's based on the Cross Up! concept from Frankfurt, boasting the same higher ride height and underbody protection. Also based on the Cross Up! is the X Up! – that's the orange one with the lights on it. Perhaps the most intriguing is the Cargo Up!, which gave up its rear seats in favor of a 49 cubic-foot cargo hold capable of caring a 939-pound payload.

With three of four of these design studies having lifted bodies, it's pretty safe to say that VW is likely to launch the Cross Up! as the next model in the family after the GT Up! sportster. We're big fans of this tiny VW, so from where we sit, this is good news – the more models, the merrier. Though we do wish VW would consider offering an Up! on our side of the pond. Click past the jump to read the full press release.
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GROWING up!: SMALL CAR FAMILY EXPANDS AT GENEVA MOTOR SHOW

The new up! range is growing, with the unveiling of four up! design studies at the Geneva Motor Show next week, each of which shows the versatility and potential of the cleverly compact new Volkswagen city car.

The up! is as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife, so what better tribute to the host country of the Geneva Motor Show than the swiss up! concept. Inside and out the swiss up! reflects the colours of the Swiss flag, with Tornado Red paintwork, white mirror housings, a white dashboard facia and red bezels around the air vents. A leather band across the back of each front seat is provided for storing the eponymous pocket knife.

Next up (or rather next up!) is the winter up!, which is based on the cross up! concept first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011. With snowboards on the roof and cool Pure White and Malibu Blue paint, this concept is all set for the ski slopes. The raised ride height and underbody protection create a rugged look, while the low weight of the up!, along with front-wheel drive and ESP with electronic differential lock, make it surprisingly agile in slippery conditions.

Like the swiss up!, the x up! is based on the cross up!, but this time equipped for night-time expeditions, thanks to a roof box that comes with built-in searchlights. Burnt Orange exterior paint is complemented on the inside by two-tone door inserts and hand-sewn up! logos.

Lastly, there's the cargo up! concept, which shows how you can load up the up! for city deliveries, with a huge 1,400-litre or 426kg payload. Underbody protection and a raised ride height allow the cargo up! to tackle pot-holed city streets, while the rear seats have been removed to create a flat load area. A bulkhead with the upper half made from Plexiglas separates cargo from driver, while the rear and rear side windows are body-coloured, keeping cargo safe from prying eyes while still allowing the driver to see through them.

The three-door up! goes on sale in the UK on Monday 5 March. The five-door model is set to join the line-up in the second half of the year. For more details on this and the rest of Volkswagen's award-winning range of cars, please visit www.volkswagen.co.uk.