Frankfurt Motor Show: VW up!
The Volkswagen up! has arrived, sparking a wave of sub-editor hissy fits at motoring publications across the globe. Offially it's called 'up!', but because neither our sense of reason nor our grammar checkers can cope with it, we'll call it Up from now on.
The Up in fact spearheads a family of six new small concept cars launched in Frankfurt, each helpfully containing the words 'up' at the beginning or end. They are: Buggy Up, Up Azzurra, Cross Up, GT Up, Eco Up and E-Up.
The basic Up is Volkswagen's replacement for the Fox and has been in gestation a whopping four years, the first concept having come at Frankfurt 2007. A million variations later and we have today's car, all finished and ready to hit the 'rooms in December.
The Up itself is a quite basic small hatchback, but the concepts provide a little more interest. Here's a sentence on each:
Buggy Up: Based on the Beetle buggies of the '60s, except you're not allowed to drive this one under the influence of narcotics. Fully waterproof interior.
Up Azzurra: Created by Giorgetto Giugiaro (legendary Italian designer) and Walter de Silva (big dog of VW Group design) for people who like wind. No, sailing. It too is waterproof, and has wood in it, like a yacht or a shed.
Cross Up: The angry Up, bitter ever since one of the other Up concepts said it was ugly during the 2008 Up Concept Christmas Discotheque. Not really, it's the four-door Cross with plastic cladding, evoking such VW classics as the Polo Dune.
GT Up: It's the Up GTI, innit. And it'll probably get made, with about 100bhp and some red on the grille.
Eco Up: It's powered by natural gas, so it only churns out 79g/km of CO2. Volkswagen says this one will go into production before next September.
E-Up: Put t' kettle on, love. Due in 2013, the E-Up will be the first production zero emissions VW. And, rumour has it, the first car ever to demand a constant stream of hot tea and shortbread biscuits.