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VW up! minicar to launch in December with 3-cylinder gasoline engines; natural gas engine to follow

The new Volkswagen up!. Click to enlarge.

Volkswagen will launch its new up! minicar in December, first in the European market, with 3 versions for different budgets and needs: take up! is the entry-level car; move up! the comfort-oriented one; and high up! the top version. Directly at the car’s market launch, there will also be 2 independent models based on the high up!: the up! black and the up! white.

The new up! initially will offer two variants of a new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engine, with output of 44 kW / 60 PS (59 hp) and 55 kW / 75 PS (74 hp). Combined fuel consumption as a BlueMotion Technology version (including a Stop/Start system) is 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US) for the 60 PS model and 4.3 l/100 km (55 mpg US) for the 75 PS model. Both of these 1.0-liter engines emit less than 100 g/km CO2.

A natural gas engine with 50 kW / 68 PS (67 hp) with the same basic configuration will follow. Its combined fuel consumption of 3.2 kg/100 km (natural gas) is equivalent to a CO2 value of 86 g/km; as a BlueMotion Technology version the natural-gas powered up! attains a low CO2 value of 79 g/km. There are also definite plans for an up! with an electric drive for the year 2013.

A new safety technology system is the optional City Emergency Braking system. It is automatically active at speeds under 30 km/h (19 mph), and it uses a laser sensor to detect the risk of an imminent collision. Depending on the vehicle’s speed and the driving situation, City Emergency Braking can reduce accident severity by initiating automatic brake interventions, and possibly even avoid a crash, VW says. So far, the up! is the only vehicle in the segment to be offered with an emergency braking function for city driving.

With a 3.54 meter length and 1.64 meter width, the up! is one of the smallest four-seat cars. The Volkswagen is 1.48 meters tall. Its overall length consists of short body overhangs and a very long wheelbase (2.42 meters).

If the goal is to maximize space, the ideal form for a small car would be a rectangular box. In the up! we were able to sculpt such a box with a clean and powerful design that does not lose sight of space utilization.

—Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand

Space utilization in the car is facilitated by the wheelbase, combined with an engine that is mounted well forward.



Looks like a Geo Metro...the XFI model from back in the day had better mileage than this new VW...





Didn't they calculate mpg differently back then? I never drove a metro so I don't know what they really got, although I expect the up! to be more crashworthy.

It's good to have these in the mix. Maybe they will become fashionable ala the Mini or the Scion lines.


It is good news to hear that common sense, smaller, more efficient cars are coming back after decades of boats on wheels and gas guzzling monsters. The 100 mpg micro car may not be that far away.


Common sense, smaller, more efficient cars have been available for decades - including the VW Beetle (1960), original Toyota (1969), Honda 600 (1970).

Do not succumb to the delusion that people did not buy boats on wheels and gas guzzling monsters.

Do not only admit it if you blame brainwashing.

Gas was cheap – and most people understood this - use some common sense.

People still buy boats on wheels and gas guzzling monsters (thankfully fewer and fewer) – join reality.


Yes, reality will set in by 2015/2020 or so. Current micro cars can do 70+ mpg and by 2020/2030 they will do close to 100 mpg.

The 3% to 5% with most of the wealth will continue to buy $100+K large vehicles but the rest may not be able to afford it unless they can borrow more.


The Republicans are hell bent on taking the country back to the Gilded Era. Your kids and grand kids will be lucky if they can find a job polishing boots or the handles of the front doors on some plutocrat's estate.

As for the 100 mpg vehicles they are already here never mind waiting until 2020/2030. They're known as golf carts. Even those will be out of reach for the next generation.


No, I mean grasp reality NOW - don't guess and dream about 2015/2020.

If only 3 to 5% will buy large vehicles past 2015, that will be wonderful.

If only “3 to 5% with most of the wealth will continue to buy $100+K large vehicles” past 2015 that will be OK.

What does “ $100+K” have to do with it.

If you envy them their $100+K vehicles, get to work, earn some money - in the private sector – and buy one. Either way, why do you care about 3-5%?


The Republicans and Democrats are BOTH hell bent on taking the country down the drain (mostly the Republicans apparently; the Democrats claim no leadership or ability to take the country anywhere, “ It’s Bush’s fault”).

How can you expect to get elected if you don’t promise lots of “entitlements”.

Look at the riots in the UK.

Only the tea party offers any real hope.

Greece, Ireland, Spain etc will cause problems when they fail – personal wealth will drop by billions.

The US, with it’s multi-trillion dollar impact will be like an asteroid.

Your kids and grand kids will be lucky if they can find a job polishing boots or the handles of the front doors on some government workers estate.

As for the 100 mpg vehicles they are already here – but like Cheshire cats – there are here and gone.

Nobody wants (I mean buys)them, so any one who makes them goes out of business before they can implement GMs brainwashing technology.



"Only the tea party offers any real hope."

I hope you say that dripping with irony. We already know how to balance the budget. We did it in 1999-2000 at the end of the Clinton years by having a progressive tax code that brought in about 20% of GDP, and we had a "Pay-as-you-go" approach to both spending increases AND tax cuts (none of which could be enacted without being paid for by comparable spending decreases, or other tax increases). It worked. The economy was growing nicely. Jobs were being produced in large numbers. We had a budget surplus to pay down debt.

If we had kept that policy through the last 10 years, the national debt might have been nearly paid to zero by now (the forecast said it would've nearly been, but tax receipts depend in part on economic cycles).

The Bush years were in fact an irrational rejection of what had worked, and replacing it with financially ruinous poicies. We're not out of national wealth yet, though, and we can improve our fiscal policies and hopefully produce our way out of this economic doldrum again.


1) We still DO HAVE "a progressive tax code" today !

2) And the Tea Party (and only the Tea Party) wants a "Pay-as-you-go" approach to both spending increases AND tax cuts".

And Clinton! Talk about IRONY and not relevant today.

We did not have a community organizer at the helm then, that is breaking all spending records - and wants to spend much MORE – that we don’t have.

Nor a vice president that said “We have negotiated with terrorists. This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.” (I only wish they could make it impossible).

Recently Obama said that he had the country on the mend in his 1st 6 months - now after 2 & ½ years, whoops, he wants to blame Bush again.

Roger Pham

Hi, ToppaTom,
Here is a message for the Tea Party:

1) Roll-back the tax code to Clinton's day.
This is not a tax increase from the year 2000, but just to UNDONE the damaging GWB's tax cut after 2001, even when we fought two wars AND having wholesale exportation of our high-paying jobs and know-how to oversea factories with substandard environmental and worker protection, thus severely eroding our tax base.

2) Try some Green Tea, it's good for you! Anti-oxidant and cancer prevention in Green Tea.
This is how a Green Tea Party will save the USA: Enact laws that will spur massive PRIVATE investments in Green Technologies and Renewable Energy technologies...Laws that give TAX BREAK for energy-efficiency installations at home, work, in cars, etc...Laws that provide for a gradual increase in the price of fossil fuels in order to spur massive level of PRIVATE investments in alternative fuels and renewable energy...Laws that announce ahead of time stricter anti-pollution enforcement and emission reduction of toxic substances...this will create more jobs...etc.

3) Some cuts in entitlements are OK, but funding to vital governmental agencies should not be severely cut, or governmental function will be impaired, and we will have anarchy!

4) Tariffs on goods imported from countries with substandard environmental condition and worker benefits or protection...to rebuild our manufacturing base to create jobs...

5) Repeal ObamaCare! (it goes without saying!)

6) Simplify CAFE regulations, and reduce or repeal other red tapes that the Dems love to create!

More to come!


@Roger Pham: Great ideas! What's sad is we have a Democratic Party that has to tax and regulate anything & everything, while the Republican Party is under the control of big coal & oil....so getting government out of the way of renewable energy companies & incentivizing them is contrary to what both the Democrats & GOP wants. I've long thought that radical tax breaks and incentives for renewables could bring about energy independence and reduce unemployment very quickly.


Excluding politics, I think EJJ said it all.
I would rather crash in a 2012 car than a Geo Metro, even a very small one.
The only problem with crashing ti is that you might damage the wheel / axles as the wheels are so near the corners.
If most people drove cars like this, we would hit the 2015 numbers now (or in 2012-5).
However, this car will be too small for most Americans, so we need to build larger cars that are V fuel efficient and safe.
The two can be reconciled if you add larger crumple zones to a light car - you end up with a rather long - light car, but the length could be used to improve the aerodynamics.
You can't really compare 1988 safety with 2011 cars, both in terms of active an passive safety systems, so it should be possible to make fuel efficient, safe cars.


USA really need three car sizes, one very large for the 40+% who already need 3-foot wide doors, large trucks for those (20%?) Ninja He-Men and much smaller e-cars for (40%) normal size common sense people.

If the current trend keeps up, more larger cars will be needed.

So, fuel efficient large units may be the solution.

Roger Pham

@mahonj & HarveyD,
Good points. HEV is currently the answer.
Ricardo is developing a low-cost kinetic hybrid system, while Toyota and Ford are teaming up to develop electric hybrid rear wheel drive for trucks and SUV's.


@ TT

Question: How do you launch two wars while lowering taxes?

Answer: Do it the Republican way charge it off to Social Security and Medicare.

As for the Tea Party they just managed to lower the confidence of the market in the Full Faith and Credit of these here United States for which we the people will suffer the consequences.

Thanks but no thanks.

Incidentally, the cost of the wars with War Department spending along with Homeland Security, both were Bush initiatives, have cost the US taxpayer $8.4 Trillion.

Feel any more secure? I certainly don't.


We should impeach the president - he got us into a war to stop Saddam from making our inspectors go in and out of Iraq over and over - and to clear out all those nuclear weapons (HA HA) - obviously a mistake that we .
. wait .
what? He’s NOT? Really?

Hey guys, guess what? Bush is NOT president any more - please correct your posts. OK?

"Enact laws that will spur massive PRIVATE investments in Green Technologies and Renewable Energy technologies." just what about "FREE" enterprise is so hard to comprehend.

Such policies WILL change what we buy, but will NOT result in MORE JOBs - changing from low cost energy to expensive green energy will COST us - it may be worth it, for us & the environment, but if you cannot understand the economics, you are not credible.

"but funding to vital governmental agencies should not be severely cut, or governmental function will be impaired" - that's what I mean by low credibility.

"The two can be reconciled if you add larger crumple zones to a light car - you end up with a rather long - light car, …." No, you end up with a rather long - heavy car.

“As for the Tea Party they just managed to lower the confidence of the market in the Full Faith and Credit of these here United States for which we the people will suffer the consequences. ”
Well, remember when you believed “Detroit did NOT build the cars people wanted” and
"GM killed the EV” etc?

You believed the BS until you had to defend it to someone other than a fellow brainless greenie.

And this one is equally untenable (except to your friends). Put it with the other two; and with “Iraq had Nukes” and countless other grade school myths.

Roger Pham

Hi ToppaTom,
Who does not understand economics? I think that include our current and our last presidents and our Congress. Fmr President Clinton recently proposed Green Technology development as the job creation engine, in a Newsweek article. Recall that President Clinton's 2 terms resulted in budget surplus and booming econimy. Let me lay out the economics of Green Technology once more:

Investments in Green Technologies will open research laboratories, factories for solar panels and solar thermal collectors and wind turbines and car batteries and motors and power electronics... etc, and training and employment of millions of workers and technicians to build, install and maintain those things... Those tens of millions of new jobs created will boost the service economy in term of housing, food service, entertainment, travel, etc. and will create tens of millions more of service jobs...All of these are made possible due to PRIVATE investments from all those people who have money but don't know where to put them right now!

To spur private Green Tech investment:
1) The tax rates will be rolled back to Clinton's era, but generous tax deduction will be allowed for investment in Green Tech. I call it Green Tax Shelter. So, for the Green investors, they will not experience any tax hike, but may even get a TAX REDUCTION, enough to make a GREEN TEA Party member happy!
2) Announce a guaranteed minimum rise in prices of Fossil Fuels of about 7-8% yearly, to make the Green Investors feel secure about their Green Investments will bear fruits and will be competitive with fossil fuel energy.
3) Announce appropriate tariffs on all green products from countries that have unfair production cost advantages such as poor environmental and worker protection and benefit standards, to level the playing field. This will guarantee that most of the solar panels and wind turbines and car batteries that we are going to install here in the USA will be MADE IN USA! This will create millions of jobs with decent wages that will boost our tax base and to eliminate the budget deficits.

Private Investor's money will jump start our stalled economy as the first step. Eventually, we will import less and less foreign oil and gas, and hundreds of billions of $$$ USD will circulate within our economy to maintain our prosperity for decades to come...Now, tell me if that won't create more jobs?

As we will pay off our foreign debts from the economic surpluses created above, we will have hundreds of billions of $$$ USD saving from paying the interests on our national public debts right now...more money into the US economy...more job creation.

Still concern about the high cost of renewable energy costing jobs by making our industry less competitive, as we all have been brainwashed?
1) via increase energy efficiency, we will need less energy to manufacture a given widget than before.
2) renewable energy will be cheaper and cheaper, due to technological maturity and large scale. Just look at a ten-fold reduction in price when a technology matured (PC, TV's etc.)
3) Appropriate tariffs on all foreign-made products made with fossil-fuel intensive energy sources, thus representing an unfair advantage to our domestic Green manufacturers.

Remember the vast industrial ability of the USA during WWII, when we out-produced the rest of the world and won massive victories on both sides of the earth. Never forget that! If we start this movement to reclaim our manufacturing base and retake our economy from foreign economic invasions, Europe and Japan will follow suit, and the New Allies will win again...I can be sure of that. Make this economic war mobilization the equivalence of WW3, only without bombs and without bloodshed...We will need to create allies from all those countries with similar environmental and worker benefit standards to become a free-trade zone before launching an all-out defensive move...

Thanks for your continued interest and for representing the Tea Party. We need your help, hopefully to create the Green Tea Party.


Just SAYING green technology will save money does not make it true.

Pour money on green industries and everything is wonderful?

Saying it over and over works only for you.

What if private, free entrprise funds the most cost effective indutries. We get more cost effective industry for FREE.

Elimination of dirty trucks in favor of wooden carts meets your definition of changing to a green economy by creating huge wagon, ox driver, tree growing and wood working industries.

Simple economics. Simple in the worst sense.

Roger Pham

Again, ToppaTom, U R Right! Just SAYING doesn't make it true. I still have to convince YOU, who represents the Tea Party, which will then create a movement and turn into action, by electing the right leaders, and then, lo and behold, it will come true.

To rise out of Great Depression, what did FDR do? Public work projects...and then there was WWII, conveniently...

We are simulating all that with the Green Movement to recapture our lost industrial base from coordinated foreign economic invasion. Our potential allies, Europe and Japan are also victims of globalism and similar economic invasion. We need to mobilize the mass to get ready to reclaim our industrial base.

Remember, TT, if we have investments to open factories and businesses and to build infrastructure and to clean up our environment, we will create jobs and we will grow the economy and we will have prosperity...very simple. We will no longer have to import energy and instead use that money to infuse into our domestic economy...more jobs...All from Private, free enterprise...not a dime from government money.

This is what Obama and our Congress have failed to see...we cannot use borrowed money to keep doing fruitless economic stimulus...tax breaks will not help create jobs when people have nothing to invest into...feel too insecure to spend money wildly anymore, they just put it into the bank without any interest in return...can't invest in housing...not real estates...not manufacturing...gold and silver? How will invest in rare metals create jobs? Can you think of a way to translate tax break saving into job creation other than Renewable Energy and Environmental conservation?

People will not invest in Renewable Energy industries in the USA unless they have GREEN TAX Shelter,assurance that the price of fossil fuels will rise, and that stuffs Made in China will not likely wipe out US Renewable Energy Industries, ergo appropriate tariffs announced in advance and increase gradually by so many percents yearly so that our factories will have time to be built and ramp up production for domestic demands.

The USA has 300 millions people...we can make pretty much everything we need right here in the USA...If you add to it Western Europe...and Japan...as Free Trade Partners, then we have a bloc of almost a billion people having similar enviromental standards and cost advantage to level the industrial playing field as trading partners...

Who favors "wooden carts, ox driver, and wood working" here in GCC? Here at GCC, we have CNG and LNG vehicles, and H2 vehicles, and Electric vehicles. Where did you read about wooden carts and ox driver in GCC?

Why is it "Simple economics. Simple in the worst sense?" You have demonstrated a lot of common sense so far here in GCC, please kindly enlighten me.


These econ discussions are virtual bewilderment. Conscious support for this reality will soon tune out - collapsing the entire game. Then we can all take a nice vacation.

For those who want to stay in... rebuilding the NA manufacturing base is the ticket.


I favor most of Donald Trump's ideas:

1) An immediate tariff of at least 25% on all Chinese goods until they start playing fair economically.

2) Telling countries around the world where we have legacy military bases (Japan, Germany, Korea) that they are going to pay for them or else we are shutting them down.


The major USA problem may be in the Congress with over 86% not trusting what those politicians have been doing in the last 10 years.

If nothing is done to brake the close ties between them and the money bags, there will be more problems ahead. Every time they have been voted out, their replacements have been worse.

Paying them much more, up to $1M/year each and making it a major crime to accept any favors while in office, could be an effective starter to fix the current mess.


What if private, free entrprise funds the most cost effective indutries. We get more cost effective industry for FREE.

Actually, the fossil fuel and nuclear industry in the US are not free and are receiving and have received far more subsidies than the renewable industry probably ever will: http://bit.ly/qw33Im


Just SAYING green technology will save money does not make it true.

Actually, according to facts efficiency measures not only save money, but also generate a high return on investment:

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