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Reports in October 2012 claimed Volkswagen had begun investigating the creation of its own budget brand. This came after having failed to purchase Malaysian car company Proton or produce a meaningful partnership with Suzuki, and after watching Renault-Nissan make piles of euro on Dacia and plot the return of Datsun.

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Volkswagen showed six conceptual takes on its Up at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, one of those being the Up Buggy. Although few will probably remember it, VW has not forgotten it, applying for a patent for the Meyers Manx revival roadster way back in March 2012 and being approved in June of this year, according to a report in Autocar. That will give the automaker a 14-year lock on the design while it decides whether to move forward with a reboot of its past.

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Excited as always, the new E-Up! from Volkswagen is making its debut today at the Annual Press and Investors Conference in VW's home town of Wolfsburg, Germany. But wait, you're saying, we first saw the E-Up! at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, so what's this "debut" that VW is talking about?

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If you thought there was nothing wrong with the Volkswagen Up! that a little body cladding wouldn't fix, you're in luck. VW has officially pulled the wraps off the production version of the Cross Up!, and its wheel arches and rocker panels are full of the black plastic cladding you've been yearning for.

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The last time we saw the Volkswagen Cross Up!, it was sitting out in the snow in prototype form, but the next time we'll see this slightly more rugged version of the diminutive Up! hatchback will be when it makes its production debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Looking like a micro-crossover with its raised ground clearance and black cladding, the Cross Up! will be the fourth "Cross" model for VW (after the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran) when it goes on sale this summer in mainla

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More detail is being sketched into the Volkswagen Group's plan to launch a low-cost brand for emerging markets. Late last year a German report quoted a VW rep saying that the brand has been interested in building a no-frills car, the kind that would challenge Dacia and Datsun, for a while. With both Proton and Suzuki effectively out of the partnership picture, a report in Reuters suggests VW could go straight to China, developing a car with its joint venture partners and building and selling it

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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.

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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.

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It looks as if Mini didn't get to hold onto its Guinness World Record for the tightest parallel parking job for all that long. German stunt driver Ronny Wechselberger managed to slide a Volkswagen Up! into a space of just 12 feet and 0.88 inches. Given that the three-door Up! takes up a full 11 feet and 7.37 inches of space itself, the remaining room front and rear was less than the length of a Bic pen. The margin makes the Mini effort seem down right spacious by comparison. Ronny C' Rock, as th

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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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A company has the right to change its mind, right?

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When it was confirmed earlier this year that Nissan wiil resurrect the Datsun brand for emerging markets, the numbers provided the reason. Nissan sold 60,000 vehicles in Indonesia alone last year, and CEO Carlos Ghosn wants to increase that figure to 250,000 units by 2014. Even then, that would mark just a fraction of that market's exploding growth. Renault-Nissan also has its successful Dacia brand in emerging markets as well as Europe.

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The Best Little Car We Can't Have

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Buyers like tech, Diesel on the upswing, Hondas getting new engines, more CVTs

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If you thought the Volkswagen Group was about to wind down the endless stream of concept cars based on the new Up! city car, think again. Because not only is the Volkswagen brand itself keeping the train a-moving, so are its sister brands.

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We knew the three-door Volkswagen Up! was going to shape-shift into other variants, one of them being a five-door version that's due later this year. According to word in German newspaper Handelsblatt, the well-received Cross-Up!, which provided clues to the styling of the five-door Up! could actually be the follow-up.

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We knew the three-door Volkswagen Up! was going to shape-shift into other variants, one of them being a five-door version that's due later this year. According to word in German newspaper Handelsblatt, the well-received Cross-Up!, which provided clues to the styling of the five-door Up! could actually be the follow-up.

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The New York Times reports the European Central Bank may have inadvertently helped buyers looking to take home a new Volkswagen Up! secure low-interest loans. Volkswagen Financial Services was one of many institutions that took advantage of the €1 trillion the central bank set aside to be loaned out at just one percent interest. Volkswagen borrowed €2 billion (about $2.6 billion USD) of that money, and plans to offer the cash to buyers in the form of loans with low three to four percen

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