13 September 2011 by Parkers Team

  • Up! Will be powered by all-new 1.0-litre petrol engine
  • Same footprint as the Fiat 500, decent cabin space
  • 67mpg from BlueMotion version, sub-99g/km CO2 emssions

Star of the Volkswagen stand at Frankfurt is the Up! - an entirely new design offering plenty of interior space while remaining small enough to be ideal for city driving.

Three versions of the new city car will be available - the entry level "take", the comfort based "move" and the range-topping "high". There will also be two special edition models available from launch and based on the high Up; the Up black and the Up white. No prizes for guessing what the changes will be with those.

Powering the Up! is an all-new 1.0-litre three cylinder petrol engine, which is available in either 58bhp or 73bhp outputs. In economical BlueMotion Technology trim - which will include a stop/start system - the Up is claimed to return an average of 67mpg from the lower-output 58bhp petrol engine.

Volkswagen says that the emissions for the BlueMotion version are less than 100g/km of CO2, meaning free road tax and no congestion charge fees. There are also plans for an all-electric version, ideal for shorter tips and inner-city commuting.

The Up! will be one of the smallest four-seater cars, yet it's reputed to offer plenty of interior space thanks to a compact engine that's mounted as far forwards as possible. To give some sense of scale it has the same footprint as the diminutive Fiat 500.

Although it's a small city car the Up! is available with some big car extras, such as its optional city emergency braking system. It's a system that activates under 18mph and uses a laser to detect the risk of impending collision. If you're going to collide with something, the Up! will apply the brakes to slow you...down, reducing the damage done. Depending on specification, or available as optional extras, buyers can also get equipment such as cruise control, an auxiliary connection for MP3 players, heated seats, air-con and a trip computer.

The Volkswagen Up! will go on sale in spring 2011, with prices predicted to start at around £8,000.

As well as the Up, VW chose Frankfurt to launch a concept car known as the NILS. A single-seat road car set up in the same configuration as an F1 car, it'll hit 62mph in 11 seconds and weighs just 460kg, promising big fun through the corners.

Also on the VW stand was a hot version of the Beetle known as the R. Borrowing the same underpinnings as the Golf GTi, the new bug is set to be an accomplished drive. There was also a cabriolet version on show, as well as a fast R version of the Polo - which is expected to go on sale in 2012 or 2013, to tie in with Volkswagen's new world rally campaign.

To read about all the new cars, concepts and news from the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, click here.