Volkswagen Cross Up! prototype caught during winter testing

The Volkswagen Cross Up! started life as a concept vehicle at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, but based on these spy shots, the jacked-up microcar looks to be heading into production, poised to join VW's European lifted lineup alongside the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran.

Like stockier versions of the Polo, Golf and Touran, this prototype suggests that Cross versions of the Up! will be set apart by a taller stance and black plastic cladding along the lower edges of the bodywork. This winter tester's meaty snow tires also do a pretty good job of making the model look ready for an afternoon of extreme soft-roading.