Here in Tokyo yesterday, Volkswagen rolled out the latest small-car concept based on its new Up! platform. That is, a longer, taller version of the rear-engined Up! shown in Frankfurt, with more room for IKEA furniture, stuffed animals or assorted cartons of ethnic curries. It's the product of a design team led by VW/Audi's favorite Italian son, Walter d'Silva, who introduced the Space Up! with telltale Italian brogue. VW needs a hit in the mincar segment if it wants to beat Fiat in its own bid for renewed relevance, and the Up! may make its name as a kind of high-style alternative. Right; it's a European thing.
Tokyo: World Premiere of the space up! Concept Car
Second variant of the space wonder by Volkswagen
Wolfsburg/Tokyo, , 24 October 2007 - Just six weeks after the world premiere of the two-door city specialist - the up! - at the IAA in Frankfurt, Europe's largest car producer is now showing the next member of the "New Small Family" - the space up! concept car - at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Being the largest small Volkswagen, the space up! is a small space wonder; on just 3.68 meters length and 1.63 meters width it offers the space of a significantly larger vehicle. The designers intentionally avoided any superfluous gimmickry here. Like the up!, the space up! is characterized by a fully new harmony between technical layout on the one hand and emotional design on the other.
The clever space concept of the space up! is largely due to its engine layout. The environmentally friendly gasoline, diesel and electric drives of the future up! family are located - as they were at one time on the Beetle and the Bulli - in the rear. An abbreviated comparison: The four-door space up! is exactly 23 centimeters longer and four centimeters taller than the up! shown at the IAA in Frankfurt.
"The world premiere of the up! at the IAA in Frankfurt served as an initial test to see how the concept of our New Small Family would be received in Europe. And the results of this test were more than favorable," says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Head of Technical Development. Walter de Silva, Chief Designer of the Volkswagen Group, underscores this assessment: "In formal design terms, one can see that the space up! is fun and at the same time offers maximum space on the smallest of platforms. Our New Small Family brings a smile back to the road."