If you've noticed the trend in the automotive industry wherein cars seem to keep getting bigger, well you're not alone. For the most part. While some vehicles are getting bigger, most automakers engage in a vicious cycle wherein new models are developed to slot into the same segment left by the newly enlarged vehicle.

Take, for example, the Volkswagen Up! supermini currently offered overseas in three- and five-door bodystyles. It may be the size of an earlier Polo, but it's smaller than the current one. But even that is apparently destined to get bigger, too.

According to Autocar, Volkswagen is developing a longer-wheelbase version of the Up! for specific markets. We don't know which markets those are, but the Up! and its derivatives aren't sold in the US, and it apparently isn't destined for Europe or – contrary to what you might think – China, either.

As with most stretch jobs, the longer wheelbase is expected to benefit rear-seat legroom. Considering that Skoda tends to offer lengthened versions of VW models, we wouldn't be surprised to see the stretch being applied to its Citigo twin, too.


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  • 23 Comments
      Felipe Politano
      • 1 Year Ago
      It was developed specifically for Brazil, where the standard model isn't available, to slot below the VW Gol (Brazil's best seller vehicle in the last 20-something years). (Not so) Fun Fact: The Gol is itself a cheaper alternative to the Fox (which was the cheapest VW in Europe before the Up, significantly smaller and less expensive than the Polo). That means the brazilian Up will be cheapened even further to fill that ultra-low-cost sub-Gol sub-Fox sub-Polo void in VW's line up. That spot is currently occupied by a 19-years-old previous generation Gol. And why stretch a car with such a bare bones proposition, you migh ask. Well, low cost cars are usually the only family vehicle for many brazilians, and not a city toy like in Europe, so they have to fit groceries, kids and stuff. To put it in perspective, the Up is expected to retail for something around US$12,000 (American Dollars) - no AC, no power locks or windows, nothing. The average Gol retails for some US$16,000. The Fox, US$20,000 - we're talking about a sub-Fiesta sized hatchback with 100hp and basic creature comforts here, like AC and power everything, not much else. The Polo (actually the precious generation one) goes for roughly US$25,000, and reasonably wealthy people will pay from US$40,000 to US$60,000 for a 140hp Golf (not the GTI!). Brazil's ludicrous tax system accounts for nearly half of current car prices, and labor costs are higher than in all other emerging countries. That pretty much explains the need for ultra low cost vehicles here: it's not that we don't make enough money to buy world-class cars at world-class prices, it's that cara here cost way too much. Average transactions prices in US dollars are not far behind those in other parts os the world, the problem is that the government keeps roughly half of it.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        Based on your explanation, I would imagine the manufacturer cost for the Up! in Brazil will be well below $10,000 USD. I wish VW would set their minds on offering a cheap car in the US -- the cheapest model sold here is the Jetta at $16,720 + tax/etc.
      • 1 Year Ago
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      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Long wheelbase up...for those modest folk who think a fox or a polo are too flashy..
      HLRocha
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's coming to Brazil.
      • 1 Year Ago
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        • 1 Year Ago
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        Luis A. Martinez
        • 1 Year Ago
        You have no clue about history dude,was fix by a British General when the company was in ruins,not like GM who got government money and spend it in china and Korea,read a little more and do more research too before those not so funny jokes
          Walt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Luis A. Martinez
          And there it is, the Tea Party' s rant about the government saving the US auto industry. You guys are slipping, you usually spew off far earlier in the comments.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Luis A. Martinez
          @ Luis A. Martinez I'm glad to see you have promoted Major Ivan Hirst, REME, who was the British officer credited with resuscitating VW's Wolfsburg factory after 1945. Today, VW models a built in over 30 countries. including a huge investment in the People Republic of China.
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      If a LWB Up! isn't going to either Europe or China, then one or both of the Americas is about the only places left. If it can actually pass crash testing and comes to the US, then it could be interesting competition for the Chevy Spark or Hyundai Accent. A GTI-like version of the Up! that could emulate the fun and simplicity of the original Mk. 1 Golf/Rabbit GTIs could probably draw me to a VW dealer for a test drive in short time..
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmt_1
        An Up GT, non electric, has already been extensively trialled, and no doubt is heading for production. It has virtually identical accomodation and performance to the original Golf GT.
      LEONARD
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have rented cars each weekend for the past month to see whats going on with them, will the auto industry is going backwards in many ways #1 price cars go up and up and really don't get any better mpg than a 1980's car the 1st to bring a $6000 or less car to the market will kick butt! we need another model T and in Cali the state runs you out of a older car which most can't afford to buy a 15k + car
      • 1 Year Ago
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      • 1 Year Ago
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      mikeybyte1
      • 1 Year Ago
      The SUV version is to be called the Uppity! The Millennial trim package with be the Sup! And once they have had too many recalls it will forever be known as the Hiccup! Hmmmm.... I know there are other versions to come. Help me out here.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        [blocked]
      Just Jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Okay. everyone in the line up please take one step up!
      Conza
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about just buy a polo? Long wheel base Up? Seriously? Long wheel base Jetta would make sense, this, doesn't. Just get onto building the GTI version ok?
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