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Future models - Volkswagen - Up! - five-door

Next Up from Volkswagen

Plus two: The new five-door version of the Volkswagen Up -unveiled at this week’s Frankfurt motor show - will most likely be released soon after the three-door in Australia.

Up next from VW will be auto, CNG, 5-dr, GT, EV and MPV versions of all-new micro

25 Oct 2011

VOLKSWAGEN has confirmed it will release a five-door version of its all-new Up hatchback in Europe in December next year – around the same time the three-door micro-car goes on sale in Australia.

Previewed by the Cross Up concept at last month’s Frankfurt motor show, the five-door Up will follow the three-door into local showrooms in early 2013, when it will become the volume-selling Up model in Australia, despite being priced between the sub-$15,000 three-door and the Polo five-door, from about $16,000.

The five-door brings to five the total number of derivatives now confirmed for production on the Up’s all-new compact car platform, dubbed New Small Family.

The manual-only Up three-door range hits Europe in December with two 1.0-litre three-cylinder engines and three specification levels, but next year VW will add a five-speed single-clutch automated manual version and the natural gas-powered Eco Up, which it bills as the world’s cleanest combustion vehicle with CO2 emissions of just 79g/km.

The German giant has confirmed it will then release the all-electric e-Up in Europe in 2013, powered by a 60kW/210Nm electric motor and 18kWh battery pack. To be dubbed Up Blue-e-Motion, it can reach a top speed of 135km/h and can travel about 130km on a single charge.

However, although VW’s first pure-electric car could also eventually be sold in Australia, the company says it has no firm plans for diesel or LPG-powered versions of the Up.

3 center imageFrom top: Volkswagen Up family, e-Up, Cross Up, Buggy Up, Up Azzurra.

“It’s possible to have a diesel but in this segment and in the European market a diesel engine is not required,” said Up technical project manager Helene Vogel through a translator at last week’s global launch in Rome.

“But we react to whatever the demand is ... currently no diesel. (An LPG-fuelled Up) would be possible because the car is already planned for (CNG), so not too many changes ... would be required. So it would be possible, but it’s not planned for the time being.” Ms Vogel said a hot-hatch version of the Up – previewed by the GT Up at Frankfurt – and a crossover variant – in the same vein as the five-door Cross Up soft-roader concept – were also likely to eventuate in Europe by 2013.

While the latter will join the CrossPolo and CrossGolf in VW’s European soft-roader range, Ms Vogel said the hottest Up, which debuted at Frankfurt with a turbocharged 74kW iteration of the standard Up’s 44 and 55kW engines, would not wear a GTI badge.

“It will be a sports version and not a GTI because in order to qualify as a GTI it would have to come up to a certain kilowatts number and we don’t get this with a three-cylinder turbo,” she said.

Once again, the GT Up, which maintains the standard model’s circa-930kg kerb weight to deliver a similar power-to-weight ratio to the conceptually similar first-generation Golf GTI, will slot into VW’s hot-hatch range below the $27,790 Polo GTI.

The Frankfurt GT Up show car featured a more aggressive bodykit comprising a honeycomb grille within a revised front bumper, wing-shaped LED daytime running lights, a rear roof-mounted spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels with wider tyres, twin chromed exhaust outlets and blue checked seat trim.

Yet another derivative of the Up platform that should hit the road is a new compact people-mover seen in the form of the Kombi-styled Bulli six-seater.

The final two of six Up concepts to be shown in Frankfurt are less likely to become showroom reality, including the lurid orange Buggy Up, which pays homage to the rugged Beetle-based Baja buggys from California in the 1960s, and the nautical-themed Up Azzurra, which does without a roof and doors and was partly designed by Giugiaro.

While the first Up hatch will arrive Down Under around the same time as the new-generation Beetle hatch, Volkswagen will launch at least three other key new models between now and then, starting with next month’s Golf Cabrio, which will be available here with a 118 TSI turbo-petrol four, matched to six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG transmissions.

First deliveries of the Scirocco R coupe will arrive in January, powered by a 188kW turbo-four mated to six-speed manual and DSG gearboxes. The standard wheel size will be 17-inch, while 18- and 19-inch wheels (the latter only with sports suspension), Xenon headlights, cornering lamps and daytime running lights will be optional.

Single-cab and eight-speed automatic versions of the currently manual-only Amarok dual-cab ute will arrive here mid-year, while Skoda’s launch of the Yeti compact SUV this week will be followed by the Czech brand’s Up-based CitiGo compact and its first genuine small-car contender.

Closer to home, VW will use next month’s Los Angeles show to debut two new production models – believed to be the new Beetle Cabrio and Passat CC – while GoAuto understands a second Passat-based model will be unveiled at the Tokyo show in late November.

What’s coming from VW:

Golf Cabrio – November
Scirocco R – January
Amarok single-cab – mid-2012
Amarok auto – mid-2012
Beetle – late-2012
Up three-door – late-2012

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