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by Tim Beissmann

Volkswagen has confirmed the all-new three-door Volkswagen Up! city car will be joined before the end of next year by a more practical five-door version.

The announcement comes as little surprise after the five-door Cross Up! Concept was unveiled at last month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, and sister company Skoda last week revealed its own version of the compact model – called the Skoda Citigo – would go on sale early next year in both three- and five-door layouts.

Volkswagen Australia has confirmed the Up! will arrive in Australia during the fourth quarter of 2012. The three-door variant is expected to launch with a starting price below $15,000 before on-road costs, undercutting the light-sized Polo.

The five-door Cross Up! Concept at Frankfurt had an off-road theme, emphasised by its 15mm-boosted ride height, tougher front bumper plate and plastic wheel arch surrounds. The production model will drop the tough-guy act and adopt a similar clean design and the same standard suspension setup as the three-door.

Volkswagen is yet to officially confirm the Up! five-door’s powertrain details, although it will almost certainly utilise the same 44kW and 55kW 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine tunes to be offered in the three-door. The most frugal Up! three-door models will use as little as 4.2 litres/100km on the combined cycle when teamed with start-stop technology.

The five-door’s interior will benefit from the same body colour metal styling, simplistic instrument layout and dashboard-mounted touchscreen.

More details will be revealed in the coming months in the lead-up to the global launch of the Volkswagen Up!, which will take place in Europe early next year.




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