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The initial prognosis for the Volkswagen Up! in Japan is going the same direction as the name of the car: three weeks after launch, 3,000 orders have been placed in Nippon. That beats Ford's sales total for the entire year and is almost a month's worth of BMW imports. Posting those numbers, Japan's Nikkei newspaper says the Up! "may beat the Golf subcompact to become the German automaker's most successful new-car launch in Japan."

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The Best Little Car We Can't Have

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VW Finally Rediscovers Its (Very) Small Car Roots

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VW Finally Rediscovers Its (Very) Small Car Roots

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This is the all-new Skoda Citigo, and if you're thinking that it looks rather familiar, that's because its Volkswagen-badged kin recently debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. That's right, the long-rumored Skoda version of Volkswagen's new Up! city car has arrived.

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This is the all-new Skoda Citigo, and if you're thinking that it looks rather familiar, that's because its Volkswagen-badged kin recently debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. That's right, the long-rumored Skoda version of Volkswagen's new Up! city car has finally arrived.

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The 2012 Volkswagen Up! production model is finally here. To be made available in several flavors, the go-to vanilla offering is remarkable as much for its meandering gestation as it is for its price: €9,850 for the Move Up! "convenience-oriented model" (about $13,500 U.S., including Germany's costly Value Added Tax). That model will have the 59-horsepower gas engine that slots below the available gas-powered 74-hp engine and 67-horsepower natural-gas engine.

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The 2012 Volkswagen Up! production model is finally here. To be made available in several flavors, the go-to vanilla offering is remarkable as much for its meandering gestation as it is for its price: €9,850 for the Move Up! "convenience-oriented model" (about $13,500 USD, including Germany's costly Value Added Tax). That model will have the 59-horsepower gas engine that slots below the available gas-powered 74-hp engine and 67-horsepower natural-gas engine.

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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.

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Toyota-Ford tie-up, Mazda RX-8 and Dakota cancelled, VW Up!, Cadillac ELR

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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.

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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.

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