We've received multiple reports that Volkswagen will be bringing a diesel-electric concept to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, set to take place later this month. The car, called the Twin-Up!, is based on the Up! city car, with some sources claiming this is a thinly veiled concept that will eventually enter production.

According to Automotive News Europe, the Twin-Up! will reportedly return 214 miles per gallon on the US cycle by combining an 800-cc, two-cylinder diesel and an electric motor. It will also boast plug-in capabilities, and will be able to cover 30 miles on electric power alone.

Autocar has a more complete picture of the Twin-Up!'s powertrain, though, claiming it's a modified version of the hybrid system found in the Volkswagen XL1. The Twin-Up! will get a more potent, 47-horsepower electric motor to the XL1's 27-hp unit, but will retain that car's 47-hp turbodiesel. The battery pack will also grow, from 5.5 kilowatt hours to 8.6 kWh. Both of these increases are necessary due to the increased weight of the Twin-Up! – it's some 900 pounds heavier than an XL1.

Despite the weight gain, the Twin-Up! should still feel spritely in dense, urban settings. It'll hit 62 mph in a leisurely 15.7 seconds, but will reach 37 mph – a reasonable city speed – in 8.8 seconds. The top speed is 99 mph.

We'll have much more on the Twin-Up! when it makes its debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show on November 20. Until then, be sure to check back as more info leaks out in the coming weeks.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its about god damn time...
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for them -- I'm not much of a VW or diesel fan but if they put it all together in a competitive package, with a competitive price, they should find success. I think they would be wise to get this in the US, either in the Golf or by bringing the Up...but the US is rather price sensitive, so this could not cost as much as it might in Europe.
        graphikzking
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Wasp
        Price is ultra important in this car. If it's priced $20k it would be a hell of a deal! If it's priced over $30k (after tax credits) then it makes it a much tougher sell. Prius C would be about $200 per month cheaper in car payment than this. Prius C = 52mpg. @ $4 per gallon = $.0769 per mile. Twin Up = 214mpg @ $ per gallon = $.0186 per mile. That means you are spending .0583 more per mile when driving the prius c. If the car costs $8,000 more then 137,221 miles is the payback period. The usual payback period should be less than 5 years on these types of new technology. So it shouldn't cost more than maybe $2,500 more than a Prius. Also it's WAY slower than a Prius C - which is just nuts to think about.
          graphikzking
          • 1 Year Ago
          @graphikzking
          BTW - I realize that $2,500 is more like 3 years payback, but that's what most people will buy it based on. Many early adopters/techy/hippie will buy if it has a 4-7 year payback but in order for larger scale sales you have to be more price conscious.
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @graphikzking
          Agreed -- 200+mpg is just fantasy but if they got really stellar mileage (ie average above 50mpg US), then it might be worth more than $20k. $30k would be ridiculous, considering the size and overall usefulness of this vehicle.
      danwat1234
      • 1 Year Ago
      214MPG? I don't think so! 33.7KWh in a gallon of gas. 8.6 KWh battery with 31 miles EV range. 8.6KWh is 25.5% of a gallon of gas equivalent. Times that range by four and you get about 124MPGe (electric mode only). In diesel mode it'll be less.
        Engineer.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danwat1234
        It said 214 MPG in the US cycle, which can easily be true. Not 214 MPG, when you drive your tank to empty, as the fuel economy is not measured that way in the official MPG readings. Here is more about the test cycle's. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_economy_in_automobiles#EPA_testing_procedure_through_2007
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      The 214mpg claim is likely bogus, as they are probably including electric. With a pure electric vehicle, you theoretically have infinite miles per gallon, but in reality you are still paying for the fuel by the cost of installing a charger in your home and being charged a different electric rate for it than your cheap home electricity. This is the problem with estimating fuel economy with plugin hybrids. They need to post what its fuel economy is running the diesel engine without being plugged in, and I would wager that's closer to the real world fuel economy Toyota Prius owners are getting.
        DarylMc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Hello Ducman69 The 1 litre gasoline UP gets 62 mpg imperial combined on the European specs. The non plug in Prius gets 72 mpg imperial combined (pretty good all things considered). I reckon the diesel hybrid UP will be at least as economical as the Prius without plugging in. But it is a much smaller vehicle and it is probably going to cost more. On a positive note though, it is an entirely conventional looking though tiny hatchback. It has good space for the front passengers and not too shabby in the rear either. Also in my opinion the ride comfort is very good for a small vehicle. But as DaveMart keeps mentioning you are unlikely to see it released in the USA anyway.
      Tommy Jakobsen
      • 4 Months Ago

      The idear is brilliant, but don´t make it to slow, I own the Skoda Citigo with 75HP, and that is 13sec. to 62mph.. and I think that is to slow, The car is not for racing I know that but, still  A little bit more power on the electrical train will do it.. the big diffrence, to chose a car is how you accelate in the city not how fast the car can run, top speed is not often used, but fast from 0 to 60mph, is that make people chose another car.. don´t make it slower then 11-12 sec. that is what a normal famlie cars take to day, not 15sec. thats make the big diffrents you will always be the SLOW one, and that will be the diffrent between this one or a CAR.. It would be fun if 0-62 could be about 7-8 sec. then you can have fun at the light to.. in a small citi car that will be something. 

      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW's Prius killer has arrived!
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        This will be well more than that. VW already makes plenty of Prius-killing vehicles, they just don't sell them in the US. Odds are, this one won't either.
      jeff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting design, but that poor of performance would not sell well in the US in my opinion...
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jeff
        As much as everyone appreciates good performance when asked, there really are a ton of people in the US (and everywhere else) who don't give a darn about power or performance. For most people, slapping an 'S' badge on a car (looking at you, Toyota Camry) is all the encouragement they need to think "sure, this car is plenty fast enough to meet my needs" no matter how lackluster its performance truly is. As long as the car gets up to 60-75mph without extreme delay, most people wouldn't even notice if it is unusually slow.
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          @jeff -- fair enough, but your opinion probably doesn't match those of most drivers. And I meant to say Toyota Corolla S...not the Camry. The Camry actually offers an impressive amount of power with the V6.
          montoym
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          Agreed. Tons of people buy Prii which can't hit 60mph in less than 10sec yet no one seems to bat an eye.
          jeff
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          12 sec to 60 is an extreme delay in my opinion....
      Ak74
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is like a super ugly version of BMW i3
        Neil Blanchard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ak74
        Well, they both are 4 wheeled hatchbacks, but other than that... Front wheel drive vs rear wheel drive Plugin diesel hybrid vs EV with optional gasoline genset Conventional 2 door vs 4 door with no 'B' pillar Other than that - they are almost identical!
      Rampant
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why arn't there more diesel hybrids in the auto industry? The diesel engines torque would make more sense for recharging batteries, and minus maybe the CR-Z, I don't see any 'green' hybrid owners being concerned about a sporty feeling or rapid acceleration so that shouldn't be a deal breaker either.
        ilikedags
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rampant
        price.
        jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rampant
        Weight....
        DarylMc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rampant
        Hi Rampant Small turbocharged diesel engines do have good torque once they get the turbo spooled up. But when it comes to charging batteries the figure which matters is "power" not torque. The Volkswagen UP is a tiny city car. As such I think the battery electric version makes the most sense since it doesn't emit diesel particulates into the city air. For steady highway use a diesel engines low fuel consumption and reasonable torque are nice. But in the case of "highway use" a hybrid system is less useful than it would be in a city. This and the cost is why you don't see many diesel hybrid vehicles.
        Paul
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rampant
        Answer: Cost
        danwat1234
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rampant
        Because diesel engine aren't that much more efficient than an Atkinson cycle gas engine, like in a Prius. Even if a diesel engine gets 14% more MPG than a gas engine, it isn't any more efficient simply because diesel contains about 14% more energy per volume than gas. And there are still improvements Toyota and other companies can make to gas engines. With Toyota, going with a Valvematic lean burn turbocharged direct injected engine might be the ticket with the 2015 Prius.
      Wetstuff
      • 1 Year Ago
      Copied Volvo .. and Volvo does it better. Dj - I will. I owned a New Bettle - Nada Mas! Jim
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Wetstuff
        graphikzking, Don't you mean some with money will buy it, versus the poor bastards that don't have any money.
      djrroar1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who will make a comment about VW reliability issues?
      Darrin Russell
      • 1 Year Ago
      214 mpg!!! This is the biggest game-changer-car yet! I'll order one immediately.
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