Shades of the classic Beetle - Volkswagen’s up! concept
September 12, 2007 Designed to showcase Volkswagen’s vision for future small, efficient, city-going vehicles, the 3.45 meter long up! concept car features a new drivetrain and rear engined layout reminiscent of the original Beetle.
Powered by a choice of compact two- or three-cylinder engines depending on the specific market, the concept retains the familiar Volkswagen ‘face’ whilst the tailgate section is constructed entirely out of a transparent material featuring a glowing Volkswagen roundel.
“The up! is not a car whose form will become obsolete within a very brief period of time. The up! is a clear and strong statement for future Volkswagen design”, according to Chief Designer of the Volkswagen Group, Walter de Silva,
Despite its modest proportions the up! concept vehicle is capable of carrying four adults – a feat achieved by pushing each of the four wheels as far into the corners as possible. This not only frees up space and reduces front and rear overhangs but also improves vehicle stability. Inside, each of the individual, lightweight passenger seats - which feature inflatable pockets to maximise comfort - can be folded and removed from the vehicle if necessary in order for larger loads to be carried.
Unique software linked to a touch sensitive screen has the ability to sense specific hand movements of the user to access the climate, entertainment and vehicle function controls. A second screen, mounted ahead of the driver, relays critical information on the vehicle’s systems along with an instantaneous read-out of the amounts of CO2 being emitted.
Volkswagen are testing the water at the Frankfurt Motor Show where the new concept will be unveiled to determine whether the concept has the same kind of potential possessed by the Beetle, or more recently, the Golf.