We'll admit to being a bit shocked that Volkswagen was even considering a move back to the rear-engine configuration it made fashionable all those years ago with its first vehicle, the ubiquitous Beetle, for the production version of its up! concept. Although we have some fondness in our hearts for the good ol' Bug and its backwards engine location, modern packaging constraints may force VW to ditch this idea for the production version of the up!, just like it did for the modern reincarnation of that first Vee Dub, the New Beetle. Out would go the uniqueness of the concept vehicle with this decision, but such is life in these days of platform sharing and cost considerations.
To go along with the previously noted nostalgia-crushing news, rumors indicate that both a 1.2-liter gasoline engine and a new diesel engine of the same displacement are expected, both offering just 55 horsepower. If this power level is accurate, at least the up! will share one thing with its Beetle forebear: really slow acceleration.