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by Tim Beissmann

The Volkswagen Cross Up! has been officially unveiled ahead of its international debut at next month’s 2013 Geneva motor show.

The chunky Cross Up! is the first special derivative based on Volkswagen’s playful city hatchback, and joins the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran in the German manufacturer’s family of off-road-themed passenger models.

Appearing almost identical to the Volkswagen Cross Up! concept that debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, the production model features a number of unique styling enhancements to distinguish it from the standard hatch.

Customary black plastic protector strips around the wheel arches and lower panel edges create a semi-rugged appearance, while silver elements in the grille, mirror caps, roof rails, rear bumper, and front and rear scuff plates also beef up the pint-sized trekker.

A ride height raised by 15mm over the standard car gives the Cross Up! a hint of off-road credibility, while new 10-spoke alloy wheels complete the unique exterior treatment.

The cabin features chrome trim around the air vents and tacho and Cross Up! door tread plates, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob. Customers can also personalise the colour of the Cross Up!’s seats (choice of red or black upholstery) and dash panel (red, black or silver). Standard features include front foglights, split-folding rear seats and a multi-function instrument cluster display.

The Cross Up! carries over the 55kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine from the standard hatch, and is available exclusively with a five-speed manual transmission.

Volkswagen Australia has no plans to bring add the Cross Up! to the local line-up at this stage.

The Volkswagen Cross Up! will make its Geneva debut on March 5.

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