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Euro-Spec Up! Headed For Production

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On: Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 9:58AM | By: Chris Salamone

Euro-Spec Up! Headed For Production

Back in 2007, VW unveiled the Up! concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Americans giggled condescendingly in delight, unable to appreciate the benefits of minicar ownership. Well, now we’re waste deep in a global recession and stuck paying gasoline bills on cars which rarely summit 25 miles per gallon.

Who’s laughing now? Although currently slotted for a European production run, VW’s Up! will officially go on sale in February of 2012. The company has yet to specify whether not the Up! will drive under the good ole’ red, white, and blue, but microcar fans can at least wait with some level of enthusiasm in knowing this production vehicle looks good…really good.

The Up! is powered by a 1.0-liter inline-3, a family member of VW’s latest EA211 engines which look to provide excellent efficiency mixed with shockingly sophisticated performance – something you would not expect in this vehicle’s class.

In Europe, the Up! will operate on 74 horsepower and 70 lb-ft. of torque mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. If the vehicle ever makes it stateside, VW plans to add some engine adjustments to bring horsepower north of 100 and draw greater American appeal. Current specs deliver about 54 MPG – likely attributed to an efficient front-wheel drive platform and 2,072 lb curb weight.

Seating is optimistically set for ‘2+2’ which effectively translates to 2 adults and 2 legless children in the rear. What the Up! lacks in rear seating (and trunk space for that matter), the car makes up for in cargo capacity. With the rear seats flattened, the Up! manages 33.6 cubic feet of storage space.

All that for about $13,000.

Matt Davis, from AOL Autos, recently noted: “If Fiat could afford to put together something more along the lines of quality substance levels we find in this stylish Up!, maybe more Americans would be buying the Italian mouse that isn’t roaring like Turin thought it would. Barring that, we’re hoping that VW considers the Up! as an opportunity to rekindle its reputation for (very) small car excellence here in the US.”

Perhaps Davis is on to something. Maybe microcar sales remain low in the US because consumers can buy larger, better equipped vehicles for similar prices. If the Up! is as fun, practical, and affordable as it seems, then maybe we’ll all be laughing together in the future – as Pope costume sales will surely rise.

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Stephy21 | 4:04PM (Wed, Dec 28, 2011)

Really cool car i hope they bring it to the U.S, i think it will do good.

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