Volkswagen on the rise with a variety of Up! concepts [w/video]

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Volkswagen is eager to show off its new Up! range, so the automaker didn't bring one version of the compact to the Frankfurt Motor Show – it brought six. The Up! platform is clearly a versatile one, and all six Up! concepts on display attest to that fact. Volkswagen has an Up! for people who enjoy a day spent sailing on the water to those who prefer their adventures to be of the urban variety.

The six concept Up! varieties are the Buggy Up! (shown above), Up! Azzurra, Cross Up!, GT Up!, Eco Up! and e-Up! The Buggy and Azzurra are designed for those who want to get close to the ocean. The Buggy is clearly a modern take on the classic VW-based kit cars from the 1960s. It's a modern Meyers Manx, or perhaps a riff on the old VW Thing. The Azzurra, on the other hand, also likes the beach but prefers to stay dockside while its occupants take to the sea. Penned by Italian designers Giorgetto Giugiaro and VW design boss Walter de Silva, the Up! Azzurra is a roofless, doorless summer time cruiser that's the perfect land toy for boat lovers.

Volkswagen couldn't go completely doorless with the Up! family, so a few had to cover up will remaining fun. The Cross Up! is a four-door example that applies lifted CUV dynamics to the Up! platform. Those seeking a more enthusiastic driving experience should turn their attention to the GT Up! concept. VW estimates it can push the standard 74-horsepower Up! engine to produce 100 horses for the GT version. Add in the 17-inch wheels, rear spoiler and upgraded exhaust, and you have a sporty Up! designed to add a thrill to your morning commute.

Since the Up! is an affordable compact designed for life in the city, you would expect Volkswagen to add a few versions that up the green quotient. The automaker has done just that with the e-Up! and Eco Up! The "e" in the name of the former alludes to the fact that this vehicle is an all-electric city car with no emissions spewing out the back. Power is provided by an 18 kWh battery pack, which will allow the e Up! to go 80 miles on a single charge. The Eco Up! needs fuel to get going, but it eschews traditional gasoline for natural gas, a start/stop system and brake regeneration. A 1-liter three-cylinder engine produces 67 horsepower and, when coupled with the BlueMotion start/stop system, achieves a combined fuel consumption figure of just 2.5kg/100km.

Check out the entire Up! family by clicking through the gallery and checking out VW's first Up! promo video after the jump. We would join you, but we have to go find a replacement for our failing exclamation point key.

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• buggy up! and up! azzurra: specially designed for the world's beaches
• cross up!, GT up!, eco up! and e-up! show potential of the new series of models

Wolfsburg / Frankfurt, September 2011. The world premiere of the new up! at the 64th International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt doesn't just involve the debut of one model.

Rather, the world premier of the two-door up! signifies the beginning of an entire series of models: the New Small Family. At the IAA, Volkswagen is unveiling six exciting concept cars to demonstrate how this family could be further developed based on the new up!. Specially designed for the world's beaches are the buggy up! and the up! azzurra sailing team. Then there is the cross up!, which was conceived for urban driving. The GT up! is a concept car tuned for the Autobahn. Another concept car is the eco up!, which is powered by natural gas and extremely clean to drive. Finally, the e-up! is a zero-emissions version with electric power. And it all starts now!

buggy up!-the up! for endless summer
A buggy is more than just a car; it is part of automotive culture. Originating in California in the 1960s and based around the original Beetle's engine and chassis, the buggy was a legend in fiberglass, created by pioneers such as Bruce Meyers. Buggies have had a cult following that continues to today. That is reason enough for Volkswagen to present a 21st century buggy concept based on the new up!: the buggy up!. However, this buggy is not made of fiberglass-instead, it's made of strong, high-tech, lightweight steel. Yet, the conceptual approach for developing the two-seater, as original as it is, still follows the lead of the historic vehicles from California.

The (reinforced) underbody, running gear and drive technology of the up! were kept, while the roof-less exterior skin of the body was completely redesigned, and the ride height was lowered by 0.8 inches. The design of the buggy up! with its headlights, the position of the VW badge-and signature trait of the front bumper that appears to smile-all tie the car to the two-door up!. Yet, everything is different: the hood is much flatter, the bumpers show an independent character, and the roof is designed as a small convertible sports car. The rear section was also completely redesigned. This is logical, because the buggy up! does not have a trunk like the "normal" up!, nor does it have C-pillars. However, it is immediately recognizable as an up! by its rear lights, which are like a reflection of the headlights.

The trunklid is constructed of two pieces; the main part of the lid lifts upward like a classic trunk, but the section above the bumper folds down, like a tailgate. This makes it extremely easy to stow heavy and bulky items. On top of the lid, there are also tie-down straps for luggage.

The designers also made this up! a purebred buggy in its side profile. Of course, it has no doors, but in their place are extensive body reinforcements and a roll bar behind the two seats. Especially cool: the open side sills. This makes the experience of open-air driving even more exciting than in a conventional convertible.

With a wheelbase of 141.1 inches, the buggy up! is slightly longer than the production up! (+1.7 inches), and is wider at 65.8 inches (+1.22 inches). As might be expected, the height of the buggy up! comes in significantly lower at 50 inches (-7.4 inches). Filling the wheel wells are 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels-large for a vehicle of this size-which have 205/40 tires.
The area above the bumper and the open side sills are painted "hot orange", which was designed especially for this vehicle; if you're reminded of the buggies of the 1960s by this color, you're right on track. The bumpers and side sills are designed in a matt and rugged "metallic grey". The same color schemes dominate in the interior.

As is proper for a beach vehicle, the new interior styling is completely waterproof. Drains in the vehicle floor and the open side sills help to prevent flooding. Even the neoprene-coated bucket seats have water drains, so no water accumulates in the vehicle after a swim in the ocean. If it should rain for a longer period of time, it is possible to stretch a sail between the window frames and the roll bar.

The controls for the infotainment system also sport a waterproof design. Among its features, the system has an iPod® dock. The entire module can be removed-including the integrated active loudspeakers-so that it can be used as an external sound system.

up! azzurra sailing team-the up! with a Mediterranean soul
The up! azzurra sailing team was created by Italian designers Giorgetto Giugiaro and Walter de Silva. Giugiaro and de Silva both grew up in nautical environments. And it was in this environment that the up! azzurra sailing team was created-a prototype of an open, small, eco-friendly automobile for the world's marinas. Giugiaro, born in Garessio-a town near the Ligurian coast where the sea breezes blow strong-and de Silva-born in Lecco on Lake Como-have extended the potential range of the New Small Family to include a nautical version. The prototype's name comes from a yacht club on the Costa Smeralda.

The up! azzurra sailing team retains the original character of the up! with its precise and appealing lines. Yet the concept vehicle is completely open-there are no doors or roof-allowing the driver and passengers to enjoy the summer breezes, as if they were aboard a boat. High-tech and highly stylish materials are used inside the vehicle, all of which are completely waterproof, and were created to resemble the fittings of a luxury yacht. These features include the four seats in white and blue leather, numerous chrome components and a dashboard in mahogany with maple wood inlays. Its surfaces are coated in a synthetic resin. The up! azzurra sailing team is more than just a prototype-it embodies the heritage of Italian yachts and of German automobiles. And that is how an up! was created with a Mediterranean soul!
cross up! – the up! for big city driving

The up! family continues with the cross up!. Still a concept car, it demonstrates three aspects:
• How the four-door up! will look.
• What the four-door up! might look like in a cross up! version.
• That Volkswagen will be expanding its successful cross program over more models.

Volkswagen currently makes three vehicles in a Cross model: the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran. Cross stands for customized and rugged Volkswagen designs with active lifestyle qualities.

Aside from its cross features, this member of the New Small Family is distinguished relative to the two-door car by the additional doors and the styling of the C-pillars. While the shoulder or 'tornado' line and windows ascend towards the rear C-pillars on the two-door car, the two elements form a straight line on the four-door car. This design gives this body variant its independence with a van-like appearance. As on the two-door version, the C-pillars are also supported over the rear wheel housings; in conjunction with the extremely short rear overhang, this creates a very powerful, dynamic appearance.

Typical features of a cross model from Volkswagen are the wheel well and side sill extensions designed in a dark anthracite (with satin effect) as well as with black side protection strips above the door sills; worked into these strips is the "cross up!" nameplate. The rugged bumpers are also a new design. At the front, there's an eye-catching silver cross-bar in the bumper which has integrated fog lights and an air intake with a honeycomb grille that is distinctly larger at the bottom. The underbody protection is also finished in silver. The rear of the car shows matching underbody protection and silver trim along the bumper. Another unmistakable trait of the cross version is more ground clearance: 0.6 inches higher.

The concept car makes its appearance with "Tornado Red" paint with silver exterior details, such as machine polished 16-inch alloy wheels in cross design ("mythos" type) and185 tires; the red circle around the VW logo at the center of the wheel matches the body color. The roof rails of the cross up! concept car are painted in "matt silver". Door mirror caps are painted in "light silver" to match the theme.

As soon as one of the doors or the trunk lid of the cross up! is opened, it's possible to see the seats with special cross trim, which includes red center and gray side panels. As in all up! models, the front dash panel and upper door trim panels match the exterior color. Other accents such as the vent surrounds and the center console are finished with black piano paint. The leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear shift and parking brake release feature red stitched seams.

GT up! – the up! for the fast roads
Volkswagen will offer the new up! with engines up to 74 horsepower, because the up! will be primarily driven in the urban world. However, the car design could handle more power. The highly dynamic GT up! shows how a more powerful up! might look. Its engine could have up to 100 horsepower.

The concept car is painted in the sporty "oryx white pearl effect" color. Designers completely reworked the front bumper. It deviates completely from the typical up! design: instead of the centrally integrated and painted lateral component, which is in metal color on the cross up!, the GT up! features a large, central cooling air intake with a honeycomb-look grille-similar to the one used on the Golf GTI, for example. Outside there are two cooling air intakes for the brakes; integrated in these openings are the wing-shaped LED daytime running lights. Prominent on its sides are the painted side sills, black door mirrors and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 195-section tires. A roof mounted rear spoiler enhances the sport design and the double flow exhaust system that features two chrome tailpipes generates a powerful sound.

Inside, the GT up! also projects a sporty image with its anthracite interior. Offering a contrast to the anthracite are blue checked seat panels and the blue vent surrounds. The dashboard and upper door trim panels and painted in a tasteful glossy black. The black headliner coordinates the look.

eco up! – the up! for clean natural gas
Volkswagen is showing an up! which-thanks to its natural gas engine (EcoFuel) and BlueMotion Technology (Stop/Start system and battery regeneration)-emits just 79 g/km CO2. This fuel offers tremendous advantages: natural gas engines are very clean. Even though the natural gas version of the eco up! with BlueMotion Technology is still a concept car at this Frankfurt auto show, it will have long been on the road as a production vehicle by the time of the next show in two years.

Volkswagen is also using a newly developed 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine for the eco up! that has 67 horsepower. As an EcoFuel version without BlueMotion Technology, the car will launch on the market next year. Its combined fuel consumption: 3.2 kg/100 km natural gas (CNG is Compressed Natural Gas). This value is equivalent to a CO2 value of 86 g/km. With BlueMotion Technology in the eco up!, fuel consumption drops to 2.5kg/100 km and CO2 emissions are reduced to 79 g/km.

These estimates are made possible by the high energy content of the natural gas; one kg (2.2 pounds) of CNG has the same energy content as about 1.5 liters of gasoline. The natural gas is stored in two tanks that have a capacity of 19 gallons or 24.3 pounds CNG beneath the passenger compartment. Tank one is located in front of the rear axle together with a 2.6-gallon reserve gasoline tank; tank two makes use of the spare wheel recess. Since the entire EcoFuel system was integrated in the vehicle structure, it does not impose any limitations on the car, except for the use of the spare wheel recess.

e-up! – the up! for zero emissions driving
It's definite: a production version of the e-up! will be launched on the market in 2013. At the IAA in 2011, Volkswagen presents a near-production study of this zero-emissions car. At its front end is a distinctive design detail: the arc-shaped layout of the LED daytime running lights in the bumper. Of technical interest: on the e-up!, the upper engine cooling air slot-between the headlights and the VW logo-is fully covered by an elegant chrome trim strip. That is because narrow air intake slots above and below the license plate serve to cool the drive system of the e-up!.

Supplying the propulsive power for the concept car, which can reach a top speed of 84 mph, is an electric motor that has a continuous output of 54 horsepower and a peak of 80 hp. As is typical of electric motors, the nearly silent power system develops a high maximum torque of 155 lb-ft. from a standstill. The driver activates the forward or reverse gear by a pushbutton on the center console.

The car's battery capacity of 18 kWh enables distances of up to 80 miles, depending on driving style-enough driving range for the city and for the trips of most commuters. The batteries themselves are located in the underbody of the e-up!. Meanwhile, all key drive and ancillary components are located in the front engine compartment.

Volkswagen Information

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