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Volkswagen Up! Named World Car of the Year

Range Rover, Porsche, Mercedes products also honored.

by on Apr.05, 2012

Lead designer Oliver Stefani olds the World Car of the Year award for the Volkswagen Up!

The pint-sized Volkswagen Up! has nabbed a big honor, winning the sought-after World Car of the Year trophy during a morning session at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

The victory took many observers by surprise, especially considering the minicar was going up for the award against the widely-hailed and more universally available updates of the BMW 3-Series and Porsche 911.

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“Our goal was always to make something small great,” said Olivier Stefani, the lead designer on the Up! program, which has become one of the centerpieces of VW’s push to go green – in many ways serving as the modern-day alternative to the legendary Volkswagen Beetle.


VW Delivers Surprise with Up! 4-Door, Sport and Dune Buggy

Anyone up for some beach blanket bingo?

by on Sep.13, 2011

Volkswagen's take on a classic, a dune buggy based on its new Up! microcar.

Volkswagen is seeing an Up!-side to its newest, smallest model.  The downsized offering will soon be getting a bit bigger – or at least the new VW Up! family will, if the maker’s Frankfurt Auto Show preview is any indication.

The pint-sized Up!, which will arrive in European dealer showrooms later this year, wasn’t expected to make much news at this year’s show, where Volkswagen was signaling its intent to focus on its unusual, 1-seat Nils concept and other product offerings.  But the German maker had a surprise in store as it began rolling out all sorts of variants of the new Up!

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The mix included a 4-door version of the microcar, which Volkswagen’s global styling chief, Walter da Silva announced “will launch next year.”

But that was only the beginning of the surprises.


VW Confirms Little Up Model Debuting in Europe This Year

U.S. plans are “Up” in the air.

by on Aug.23, 2011

VW plans to launch sales of its new Up microcar in Europe by December.

Volkswagen will formally introduce the production version of its newest – and smallest – car, the Up, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, next month.  The micro-compact will reach European showrooms before year-end, though plans for a U.S. launch apparently remain “Up” in the air.

In many ways, the minicar is more like the original Volkswagen Beetle than the latest version of the Bug that drove during a Berlin preview last month. (Click Here for that review.)  The Up will become the smallest car in the VW line-up, at less than 12 feet nose-to-tail, focusing on the growing market for urban cruisers that can deliver space, fuel-efficiency and more driving fun than the traditional econobox.

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VW first revealed the Up at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show with a conventional gasoline engine.  It returned, two years later, in battery-electric form.  Eventually, the maker is expecting to produce both versions.