Volkswagen pulled a surprise on us with the Frankfurt Motor Show – it is exhibiting the small rear-engined rear wheel drive city car that was talked about early in February this year. It’s funny how Volkswagen has gone back to the RR format that it’s iconic Beetle had decades ago – all it’s modern cars are front wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
The new car is called the Volkswagen up! city car concept and it runs on a completely new platform and drivetrain. The 3.45 meter long car is intended as an aspiration for a new family of small and very efficient cars from Volkswagen.
In the current concept form, the up! Concept runs on a choice of compact two or three cylinder engines. Interior space for 4 passengers is maximised by pushing each of the four wheels as far into the four corners of the car as possible.
Volkswagen has also attempted to modernize the interface with which we communicate with the car’s on-board systems. A touch sensitive screen in the interior has the ability to sense specific hand movements of the user to access the climate, entertainment and vehicle function controls. A second screen mounted ahead of the driver in place of the usual meter cluster relays critical information on the vehicles systems along with a real-time read-out of the amounts of CO2 being emitted.