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Bigger, it seems, is no longer better. Volkswagen has made waves with its Up! city car, a plucky three-door that's been a bit of a hit since it burst onto the automotive scene, spawning a number of variants during its short life. And while our European friends have gotten a Cross Up!, a commercial version, an EV model, Seat- and Skoda-badged variants, and a rumored diesel-electric Twin-Up!, the small city car has been lacking in terms of its premium content.

If you won't change the car, perhaps you can change the fuel. This is part of the alt-energy strategy that Volkswagen is employing as it works on electric vehicles. To wit, its project with Solazyme to make renewable diesel and also the Eco Up! vehicle.

The price of entry for the 2012 Volkswagen Up! is £7,995 ($12,434 U.S. at today's exchange rate) over in the UK and the order books are wide open.

Even smaller than the Volkswagen Polo, the three-door Up! is the first of what VW says will be a wide range of pint-sized, fuel-efficient vehicles sold under the VW umbrella.

Transport an original Beetle driver to the present-day from the 1960s, and it's unlikely that the time-traveler would ever recognize a Touareg or a Phaeton as a Volkswagen. The opposite might be true of the tiny new Up!, the production version of which has just been revealed ahead of its formal debut in Frankfurt next month.

Transport an original Beetle driver to the present-day from the 1960s, and it's unlikely that the time-traveler would ever recognize a Touareg or a Phaeton as a Volkswagen. The opposite might be true of the tiny new Up!, the production version of which has just been revealed ahead of its formal debut in Frankfurt next month.