World Premiere of the up!
Volkswagen Reinvents the Volkswagen
World premiere: Volkswagen up! concept car with rear engine
Multivariable: City specialist offers more space, more variability and
WOLFSBURG, Germany, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - There are cars that endure for all
times. They are icons of their type, masterpieces of craftsmanship and
technology; they put ideas into motion, make progress tangible and sometimes
quite simply make everyday life better, more practical and enjoyable. Many of
these cars carry the VW logo. "Bug, Beetle, New Beetle", "T1, Bulli, Samba
bus, California", "Golf, GTI". Now Volkswagen is presenting - as a world
premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt - a concept car
that once again has the right stuff needed to move more than just one
generation. It is a small, pure and high-spirited Volkswagen that pays tribute
to its environment. The overall concept is marked by an innovative, clear,
intuitive functionality. The name of the concept car: up! - a positive name
that is a synonym for departure, activity, dynamics and the future. "For
Volkswagen", says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member with Responsibility for
Technical Development, "the response of IAA visitors will be a decisive test
to determine whether the concept has the same kind of potential possessed by
the Beetle at one time or by the Golf today."
The up! is a city specialist, a car for four persons and all languages,
for the job, the university, the drive to the beach and the excursion outside
the city gates. A small car that shows a lot of size, because it offers more
space than any other car of similar length (3.45 meters) and width
(1.63 meters). Its engine - conceivable here are all facets of technology that
can be sensibly applied - will run in the rear. And that changes everything:
Space, mood and design. Walter de Silva, Chief Designer of the Volkswagen
group, sums it up like this: "The up! is not a car whose form will become
obsolete within a very brief period of time. It shines in its cleverness and
yet is made with loving care. And so the up! is a clear and strong statement
for future Volkswagen design." Furthermore, the team of designers and
engineers has envisioned the up! concept car as the first member of an entire
model line; other facets are entirely conceivable.
Ralf-Gerhard Willner, Director of Concept Development, has final
responsibility for the technical layout of the up! He and Walter de Silva had
already achieved a new balance in the mutual interaction between form and
function at Volkswagen before the start of the project. "Absolute harmony of
the basic technological concept and the emotional aspects of the design", note
Willner and de Silva in unison, "can only be achieved in a hard clash of ideas
between engineers and designers. That is the only way to produce icons." That
is precisely why the up! is not your run-of-the-mill, small, tightly packed
car, but instead is a clever, innovative whole. Its form is pure. It just had
to look like this, no other look would do. There is nothing superfluous, and
its functionality - and so also its design - speak for themselves.
Simultaneously - and this is typical of Volkswagen - uncompromisingly
attention was given to refining every line and every surface until we had
created a friendly and masterful car.
The fact that the engine of the up! runs in the rear has a decisive
influence on its exterior design. That is because the up! has no classic
radiator grille. It forges links to the Beetle. This fact alone gives it a
great deal of independence. Dominant design characteristics are the headlamps
that take an inward and diagonal line, between them the horizontally arranged
air vents, the VW logo (as one of the few details kept in chrome), the
tailgate that extends far forward and the smooth bumper with a circumferential
black stripe as a detail of the "happy face" that is typical of Volkswagen.
In many areas, technology and design have melded into a vehicle
architecture that is not only appealing, but is also very utilitarian. The
rear end of the up! is a good example of this. The tailgate was produced using
a transparent material. Under this gate developers also integrated the high
layout of the taillights. Another feature that is technically and visually new
is the location of the VW logo in the tailgate; it is also located behind
glass and illuminates when the light is on. The rear bumper was designed to
match the "happy face" in front.
The powerful appearance of the up!, despite all of its compactness, is
emphasized by a very wide track width (1.42 meters) relative to vehicle width.
The wheels are flush with the sporty outboard wheel arches and side skirts.
The radial design of the wheels and surfaces extending right up to the edge of
the rim make the 18-inch wheels appear significantly larger than they actually
The wheels that are arranged far outboard in the bumper areas reduce body
overhangs to a minimum. All of these features are part of an unmistakable side
profile with a very long roof arch as well as clear and large surfaces. Giving
shape to its style here are the large doors and the lateral window surfaces,
which incline sharply upward at the height of the rear wheel arch and thereby
help to form the very independent C-pillar design.
Mounting the engine in the rear opened up entirely new interior concepts.
Relative to its exterior size, the space offering is exceptionally
forward-thinking. The same is true of its variability: Except for the driver's
seat, all other seats can be folded and removed. Since they are designed as
light shells, they can be quickly stowed in one of the cargo areas - besides
the front trunk there is also one in the rear - to free up space. Afterwards,
the entire passenger compartment length can be utilized as a storage area for
especially bulky objects.
To achieve the high level of seating comfort that is usual at Volkswagen,
besides their ergonomic design, in the case of the up! this level of comfort
is also attained by a simple yet very effective trick: Similar to a
self-inflating air mattress, air can be sucked out of the seat surfaces via a
valve. This means that the seats can be adjusted 1:1 to the body anatomies of
the occupants who have just taken a seat.
On its up! concept car, Volkswagen is presenting some completely new
solutions when it comes to operator controls. Klaus Bischoff, Chief Designer
for the Volkswagen Brand, comments on this: "Another reason the up! is so
fascinating is because everything, every detail, was thought out anew. In the
interior we have a touchscreen with new proximity sensor technology for
controlling the navigation, radio, trip computer and climate control systems.
It is operated absolutely intuitively. As a result, the most complicated
functions can be controlled like child's play."
The up! has two central displays. In the cockpit, a 8-inch monitor shows
the driver key information such as vehicle speed, fuel level and range, as
well as momentary CO2 emissions.
In the center of the instruments - equally easy for driver and front
passenger to see and control - an 7-inch monitor shows the way that future
human-machine interfaces will look and operate. Here all conceivable functions
can be controlled via the mentioned touchscreen, which also reacts via
proximity sensor to gestures, i.e. specific hand movements.
Menuing was restocked and reorganized so that people without computer
science educations would be able to operate the system. The developers
intentionally separated "display" and "control" levels from one another.
Always shown on the screen is a control bar with standard functions such as
climate control or audio volume control. Developers packaged functions of
other higher-order systems - navigation, telephone, radio, images, movies,
etc. - on a display level that has been referred to internally as the "main
menu carousel" - a type of virtual carousel. It consists of the icons of
different system functions (telephone, navigation, etc.). When the user
touches the "main menu carousel" it can be rotated by touchscreen. Visually,
this control is just as spectacular as it is intuitive. When the desired
function appears on the main menu carousel - such as the telephone - all the
user needs to do is move his or her hand to the display to switch over to the
telephone menu, thanks to proximity sensor technology. The new type of user
control is fun, easy to understand in any cultural environment and very safe.
That is precisely what is typical of Volkswagen.
You will find additional information and graphic motifs of the new
products in the press database on the Internet at:
www.volkswagen-media-services.com in der Presse-Datenbank.
User ID: iaa-up / Password: 09-2007
All data and equipment contained in this press release apply to models
offered in Germany. They may differ in other countries. All information
is subject to change or correction.
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For further information:
For further information: Faisal Barbhuiya, Public Relations, Volkswagen
Canada, (905) 428-5887, firstname.lastname@example.org