Up, yours from December

This is the Up, the new Volkswagen city car that finally kills the Fox. The four-seat three-door hits showrooms in December in three distinct flavours, called Take Up, Move Up and High Up.

No prices have been announced yet, but we reckon the entry-level car, the Take Up, will come in at around £8,000. Volkswagen says that the Move Up is "comfort-oriented", while the top spec High Up, you'll probably already have guessed, hogs the kitchen sink like a 1950s housewife.

The car debuts a pair of three-cylinder petrol engines, one with 59bhp, the other 74, with the lower-powered Bluemotion Technology version averaging 67.3mpg. There'll be a zero emissions electric version at some stage, too.

At just over 3.5m long the Up is one of the littlest four-seaters around, and a good few inches shorter than the Fox it replaces. But because VW has shoved the engine right over the front axle, we're promised masses of interior space. The trunk holds a little less junk than the old Fox's, however: 251 litres versus 260.

Taking a leaf from the Fiat 500 stylebook, some of the dash panels match the colour of the body (depending on spec), although with a cabin layout that springs few surprises, the Up hasn't forgotten where it comes from.

You might have noticed the sat nav, though, which is the closest thing to crazy a small Volkswagen has ever known. The removable, touch screen Personal Infotainment Device "was developed to organize navigation, telephone, information and entertainment," says VW.

The Up will also become the first city car to offer auto braking as an option. City Emergency Braking will halt the car automatically at speeds up to 18mph when it senses you're too dim-witted or blind to do it yourself.

Volkswagen will formally unveil the Up at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
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