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by Tim Beissmann

The all-new pint-sized Volkswagen Up! is destined to arrive in Australian showrooms by the end of 2012, with a starting price under-cutting the current entry-level Polo.

At $16,690, the five-speed manual Volkswagen Polo Trendline three-door is currently the cheapest model in the German brand’s local line-up.

Given its diminutive proportions and anticipated basic specification level, the Volkswagen Up! is expected to start around $15,000, making it a close competitor for other sub-light models like the Holden Barina Spark, Nissan Micra and the Suzuki Swift.

Official pricing and specifications will be revealed closer to the Up!’s local launch in a little over 12 months’ time.

 

At 3540mm long (2420mm wheelbase), 1640mm wide, 1480mm tall, the Up! is 412mm shorter and 42mm narrower than the Polo. The Up!’s wheelbase is just 50mm shorter than the Polo, and at its highest point it is 26mm taller than the Polo.

The Up!’s 252-litre boot is just 28 litres smaller than the Polo’s, and it expands to 951 litres with the rear seats folded down. Unlike the Polo, however, the Up! is strictly a four-seater, with room for just two in the back.

Overseas, the Volkswagen Up! will be launched with two different tunes of a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine: a base model variant with 44kW, and a higher powered 55kW unit. Volkswagen says they will return combined cycle fuel consumption figures around 4.2-4.3 litres/100km when teamed with start-stop technology.

The 55kW version is the variant most likely to come to Australia.

Volkswagen will also add a 50kW natural gas model to its global line-up in 2012, and plans to launch an electric version in 2013.

Depending on its specification level, the Up! will be available with City Emergency Braking (auto braking under 30km/h to avoid crashes or reduce their severity), a body colour-themed interior, and a Portable Infotainment Device (PID) which integrates satellite navigation, parking, telephone and infotainment functions into a removable touchscreen tablet.

The production version of the 2012 Volkswagen Up! will make its world debut at tomorrow’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.




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