On the occasion of the driving presentation tht took place in the past week in Rome, Volkswagen has published new images and information on the Up! production model, derived from the concept presented in 2007 and first unveiled at the past 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
In addition to the design sketches shown above, on its YouTube channel the german carmaker has also released a video interview with exterior designer Marco Pavone and interior designer Jan Haacke, who give some insights on their work on the city car.
The full version of the interviews and other video presentation of the Up! are available on the dedicated microsite www.volkswagen-up.com.
The Up! is just 3.54 meters long and features an optimized space for its four passengers and efficient powertrains, with two gasoline engines with 44 kW / 60 PS and 55 kW / 75 PS, one natural gas engine with 50 kW / 68 PS, and two new gearboxes.
The car is also the first in its class to have an optional automatic city emergency braking function.
At launch the up! will be available in three trim levels (take up!, move up! and high up!) and two exclusive versions (up! black and up! white). In Germany, the new up! can be ordered at prices from 9,850 euros.
The up! line-up is planned to be expanded in the future with a number of new models and versions, previewed at Frankfurt with a together with a group of concept cars.
Below you we report the official details on the exterior design, with comments by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff.
At 3.54 m in length and 1.64 m in width (without door mirrors), the up! is one of the smallest of four-seat cars.
The Volkswagen is 1.48 m tall. Its overall length consists of remarkably short body overhangs and a very long wheelbase (2.42 metres) – a body layout that fully utilises the available enclosed space.
Viewed from the front, the up! appears to smile, due to the lines of the bumper. And it is intentionally smiling.
A narrow black band runs between the headlights (with integrated daytime running lights).
Integrated here is the Volkswagen logo, which is the only chrome element at the front end.
The up! can make do without large air cooling intakes due to its small petrol and natural gas engines and electric motor that will follow later.
The headlights are signifi- cantly smaller than those of other Volkswagens, yet they are visually very prominent.
Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Brand comments: “My favourite part of the up! is its front end, its face. It is unmistakably a genuine Volkswagen, yet it has a very independent personality. More than any other models, the up! reveals a smile. The up! is simply appealing and its appeal is simple!”
“The front-end designs – from the up! to the Phaeton – all follow the same styling guidelines. The models are unified by such style elements as a strict emphasis of horizontal lines, joining of the grille and headlights and the conciseness of short angles.
“And yet, despite their clear brand affinities all Volkswagens are differentiated from one another. Crucial here are the differences in the proportions of the individual components. This leads to highly individual vehicles that span the model range from the congenial up! to the sophisticated Phaeton.”
In side profile, the significant flares of surfaces and alternation of convex and concave forms define the car’s styling.
A slight concave groove above the side sill creates an accent in the continuous surface.
The side profile does not show any seams or edges except for the wheel housings and the look of the side windows.
The wheels are placed in powerful wheel housings, whose lateral surfaces – the so-called wheel mirrors – are very large, making the diameters of the small wheels (14 to 16 inch) appear visually larger.
The look of the windows gives the up! an unmistakable look as well.
A short angle in front creates a formal connection from the lower-lying window edge to the hood.
A long ascending line in the rear third of the vehicle matches that formed by the rear wheel and the C-pillar.
This interplay of lines reinforces the image of the C-pillar being supported by the rear wheel – a characteristic which – in interaction with the long wheelbase and short overhangs – underscores the crisp proportions of the up!.
Over the short, steeply-rising hood, there is another line that leads over the windscreen and roof to the rear.
There, the car’s silhouette first follows the side windows then finishes in a nearly vertical curve down to the bumper. This linework is unmistakable.
At the rear, the up! has a large bootlid, which extends down to the bumper. This so-called hybrid bootlid consists of 3 basic layers.
Similar to a modern smartphone, its outer skin consists of a transparent glass element.
The bootlid forms an integral unit with the vertically oriented rear lights. In detail, the bootlid is constructed of a load-bearing framework upon which a second sheet-metal layer is laser welded in place with the integrated trailing edge of the roof.
The outer third layer of the bootlid is the glass element that is joined by adhesive. It extends down from the trailing edge of the roof over the entire bootlid; that is, it incorporates the rear window as well as the lower area of the lid.
The border around the rear window and the lower section are coated in black from the inside. For- ming a contrast to the black are the chrome surfaces of the Volkswagen logo and the up! badge. The bootlid is opened by pressing a button in the handle beneath the Volkswagen logo.
Although they look like parts of the bootlid, the large tail-lights of the up! are actually joined to the body. Their red surfaces are very distinctive, especially in their interplay with the white C-shaped elements.
The lower third of the rear section is dominated by the bumper with its wide licence-plate panel and seam running around it. The front and rear bumpers are painted in body color as standard.
Walter de Silva, Volkswagen Head of Design, commented: “The up! embodies a culture in which stature is not simply measured in terms of physical dimensions or power. The stature of the up! lies in its character: sustainability and authenticity, combined with a very appealing design.”
“The up! opens up a future for mobility. Constraints for individual transportation will not become easier. How we handle our natural resources and act responsibly towards our environment will require rethinking by car makers and end users. Our task here is to offer customers visually attractive options that satisfy these constraints. The up! is the essence of these ideas. It is a youthful, appealing, sustainable and straightforward car!”