Volkswagen Ups their game

Volkswagen have introduced the diminutive Up, slotting in below the Polo Vivo and Polo.

At 3,540 mm in length, 1,641 mm in width and 1,489 mm in height, the Up is one of the smallest four-seater cars on the market. Its overall length consists of short body overhangs and a long wheelbase of 2,420 mm.

There is space inside the car for four adults. This is due to the wheelbase, which is one of the longest in the segment, combined with an engine that is mounted well forward. Their is a 251-litre boot and with the rear seat fully folded, cargo space increases to 951 litres.

Powering the Up is a new generation 1-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 55 kW and 95nm is mated to a five-speed gearbox and combined fuel consumption is claimed at 4.7 l/100km with CO2 emissions of 108 g/km. Standstill to 100 km/h takes 13.2 seconds and top speed is 171 km/h. This engine returns a combined fuel consumption of 4.7 litres per 100km while emitting 108 g/km of carbon dioxide.

Two derivatives are available: Take Up and Move Up. A raft of safety features including ABS and four airbags are available as standard features.

Viewed from the front, the up! appears to smile, due to the prominent lines of the bumper.

Integrated in its friendly face is the Volkswagen logo, 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 significantly smaller than those of other Volkswagens, yet they are visually very prominent.

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, but the side profile does not show any seams or edges except for the wheel housings and the look of the side windows. The wheel housings are prominent and their lateral surfaces – the so-called wheel mirrors – are very large, making the diameters of the small wheels (14 to 15 inch) appear even larger.

The design of the windows gives the Up an unmistakable look as well. A short angle in front creates a formal connection between the lower-lying window edge and the bonnet. 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. Over the short, steeply-rising bonnet, 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 near vertical curve down to the bumper.

The Up has a large boot lid, which extends right down to the bumper. This so-called hybrid boot lid consists of three basic layers. Its outer skin consists of a transparent glass element. The boot lid forms an integral unit with the vertically oriented rear lights. In detail, the boot lid 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 boot lid is the glass element that is joined by adhesive. It extends down from the trailing edge of the roof over the entire boot lid and 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. Forming a contrast to the black are the chrome surfaces of the Volkswagen logo and the Up badge. The boot lid is opened by pressing a button in the handle beneath the Volkswagen logo.

Although they look like a part of the boot lid, 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 surrounding seam. The front and rear bumpers are painted in body colour as standard.

The Up is front engined and front-wheel drive. It uses a running gear which was specially designed for it. Its very short overhangs on the front and rear axles as well as a long wheelbase and stiff body structure form the basis for good vehicle dynamics and chassis set-up.

At the front is a strut-type suspension with wishbones. A key component here is the subframe to which the single-shell transverse link is joined and which absorbs forces of the stabiliser that is joined directly to the strut tower, as well as the steering unit and the swivel mount of the engine bearing. The lightweight but very rigid subframe is produced from a high-strength steel that is only 1.8 mm thick.

The concept of a torsion beam chassis was chosen for the rear axle, where the semi-independent suspension also exhibits low weight and compact construction.

The Up is equipped with electro-mechanical power assisted steering which is able to vary the feel of the steering wheel to suit the speed and driving situation: firm and direct when driving hard, effortless at parking speeds.

In the case of Up the parameters are the selected degree of active self-centring to the middle position and steering comfort as well as a feeling of safety. The important self-centring characteristic, even over the slightest of steering angles, and speed-dependent build-up of steering torque convey a sense of very high precision to the driver.

Braking system

At the front, the Up is equipped with newly developed, ventilated 14-inch disc brakes. At the rear, drums. The power range of the brakes is subdivided into two ‘maps’. In the comfort braking range, the focus is on good force metering ability. But if more powerful braking is required, the second map is activated with a higher servo boost factor which significantly reduces the pedal force required during hard braking. The Up is equipped with ABS as a standard active safety feature.

Take up!

This derivative has the following standard features: ABS anti-lock brakes with Hydraulic Brake Assist driver and front passenger airbags, plus front side head/thorax airbags two rear three-point seatbelts and height-adjustable head restraints warning buzzer for front and rear seats if belt unfastened.  ISOFIX fixtures and top-tether fittings for mounting suitable child seats in the rear height adjustable steering wheel manually adjustable door mirrors manual air conditioner daytime running lights rear windscreen wiper two rear seats with one-piece folding backrest 14-inch steel wheels with 165/70 R14 tyres.

Move up!

In addition to the features on the Take up! model, the Move up! gains the following: body-coloured door mirrors and handles inside door handles in chrome driver and passenger seat height adjustment easy entry sliding seats for easy access to rear seats front electric windows electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors remote central locking Radio/CD with MP3 and two loudspeakers split folding rear seat backrest  (60:40)

Optional Features

The Up can be customised with a number of factory fitted optional features such as 15-inch Waffle alloy wheels, Sound “Plus” package with 4 speakers in front and 2 in rear, driver package (cruise control, rear park distance control and multi-function display), winter package (heated seats and front fog lights), comfort package (front electric windows and height adjustable driver seat) and panoramic sunroof.


Volkswagen Up is available in six colours, namely Candy White, Mayan Blue, Sunflower Yellow, Tornado Red, Light Silver Metallic and Deep Black Pearlescent.





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