World Premiere of the space up! blue

    Clean Drive Revolution "Made in Germany"

    Volkswagen presents the first car in the world with high-temperature fuel

    space up! blue covers downtown distances with pure battery drive

    WOLFSBURG, Germany and LOS ANGELES, CA, Nov. 19 /CNW/ -

    The space up! blue                                          To the point

    -   Wolfsburg/Los Angeles, November 2007. Powertrain revolution in
        California: Volkwagen is presenting the space up! blue concept car at
        the Los Angeles Auto Show (November 14 to 25) as a world exclusive -
        a compact, self-confident zero emissions van in the style of the
        legendary Volkswagen Samba Bus. On board: the world's first high
        temperature fuel cell and an array of twelve lithium-ion batteries.
        When the electric motor (45 kW/61 PS) of the space up! blue is
        driven exclusively by battery, a range of 65 miles is possible -
        enough to handle nearly all distances in downtown areas. In the
        scenario of tomorrow's world, the four-seat Volkswagen is advancing
        to become the ideal vehicle for anyone who wants to drive -
        completely emissions-free - to work, recreation, school or university
        or just shopping.

    -   Energy is "refueled" either via an electrical outlet or by the
        Volkswagen high-temperature fuel cell. In the latter case, the car's
        range is extended an additional 155 miles. This makes it possible to
        drive up to 220 miles on a single "energy charge". Aside from this,
        the microvan utilizes another energy source: the sun. And indeed with
        a large solar panel on the roof. It supplies up to 150 Watt of energy
        that is also fed into the battery.

    -   With its new high temperature fuel cell (HT-FC) Volkswagen is
        introducing a system that represents a turning point in research on
        fuel cells for mass production. That is because the HTFC offers
        crucial advantages compared to all other fuel cell systems:
        considerably lower weight, significantly greater everyday utility,
        substantially lower price, and therefore clearly the better chances
        of becoming a reality someday as a mass produced technology. The high
        temperature fuel cell was developed at a dedicated research center
        founded by Volkswagen in Germany.

    -   With its concept car being shown in Los Angeles, Europe's most
        successful car producer is introducing the third variant of its "New
        Small Family" within just two months. Like the city specialist, the
        up!, already introduced at the IAA in Frankfurt, and the space up!
        presented in Tokyo, the space up! blue is a small space wonder too.
        Over a length of just 144.9 inches, a height of 61.8 inches and a
        width of 64.2 inches, it offers the space of a considerably larger
        vehicle. The clever space concept of the space up! blue - which is
        1,090 kilograms "light" despite the fuel cell and batteries - is
        largely due to the layout of the powertrain. Its emissions-free
        electric motor operates - as did the engines of the Beetle and the
        Bulli (Microbus) at one time - in the rear. Also housed in the rear,
        under the rear seat to be exact, are the lithium-ion batteries. The
        high temperature fuel cell, on the other hand, is located at the
        front of the car.

    The space up! blue                                           Key Aspects

    Volkswagen Concept Car Utilizes Water and Sun

    Energy network of lithium-ion battery, fuel cell and solar cell

    space up! blue is the third concept car of the New Small Family by

    Wolfsburg/Los Angeles, November 2007. The space up! blue - with its
    four roof windows - is reminiscent of the Samba Bus of the 1950s.
    However, at a length of 144.9 inches the contemporary concept car is
    almost 23.6 inches shorter than the cult bus of that era. And so the "new
    one" is anything but a retro version of the "old one". Nonetheless, the
    two vans are certainly kindred spirits, and this goes beyond sharing the
    windows in the roof. For example, their designs both incorporate
    butterfly doors with opposing hinges and a motor layout in the rear.

    Electric motor and battery

    While fifty years ago a boxer engine in the rear provided the propulsive
    force, in the new concept car it is an electric motor. This motor outputs
    45 kW/61 PS, turns at up to 10,000 times per minute and generates a
    maximum torque of 120 Newton-meter. The zero-emissions drive draws its
    power from an array of twelve lithium-ion batteries with a total energy
    capacity of twelve kilowatt-hours (kWh). Motorized in this way, the space
    up! blue attains a top speed of 75 mph. It handles the sprint to 100 km/h
    (62 mph) in a dynamic 13.7 seconds.

    Exclusively driven by battery, the motor powers the space up! blue over a
    range of 65 miles. By comparison: a hybrid car in pure electric drive
    mode - i.e. with energy stored in the battery - can travel just
    two kilometers (1.24 miles) on average. The combustion engine must kick
    in again before this distance is driven. Consequently, the space up! blue
    represents a conceptual approach, reaching beyond hybrid technology, for
    operating the automobile by just battery, especially in urban areas.
    However, a prerequisite for this technology are durable and affordable
    lithium-ion batteries with a high charge capacities. With their help,
    transportation could become "electrified" - i.e. converted from
    combustion engines to electric motors - in a stepwise manner, initially
    in the big cities. The infrastructure needed for this is simple:
    electrical outlets! Step by step, public and private parking spaces and
    parking garages would have to be equipped with "electric service pumps"
    to offer charging capabilities. At night, vehicles like the space up!
    blue could take advantage of nighttime rates for electrical power - which
    are often much lower in many countries - to "fill up their tanks". The
    fact is: today the space up! blue concept car could already handle
    average daily driving distances in pure battery mode - without a fuel

    High temperature fuel cell

    The high temperature fuel cell, meanwhile, could enable completely
    emission-free driving over long distances. The high temperature fuel cell
    develops a power of twelve kW to spur on the electric motor.

    The fuel cell utilizes hydrogen (H2) to obtain electrical energy. Two
    safety tanks integrated in the underbody store up to 3.3 kilograms of
    compressed hydrogen. This quantity is enough to operate the electric
    motor over a distance of 155 miles. With fully charged battery and full
    hydrogen tanks, the theoretical range is a full 220 miles. So
    theoretically, even an excursion from the Los Angeles Auto Show to
    picturesque Santa Barbara and back would be feasible without an energy
    recharge. These are distances that demonstrate how cars with electric
    motors plus fuel cell are capable of more than just city driving.

    Aside from the fact that hydrogen would have to be produced in sufficient
    quantities by regenerative energy, there is another serious problem: All
    fuel cells known to date - that is low temperature fuel cells - need to
    operate over a very specific temperature range. If the temperature rises
    too much, energy recovery is brought to a standstill. That is why all of
    these fuel cell designs have relatively large and likewise complex
    cooling and humidification technologies.

    This is precisely where the high temperature fuel cell developed by
    Volkswagen comes in. It eliminates the numerous disadvantages of
    previously known low temperature fuel cells (LTFCs). A new high-
    temperature membrane and electrodes specially designed for this membrane
    enable significantly more compact, affordable and efficient fuel cell
    systems, as shown on the space up! blue concept car in Los Angeles.

    Working together with its custom designed electrodes, the high-
    temperature membrane can be "driven" over a temperature range of up to
    160 degrees Celsius. An average operating temperature of 120 degrees C is
    planned for vehicle operation. And indeed without requiring supplemental
    humidification. Therefore - in contrast to the LTFC - it is sufficient to
    implement a much simpler cooling and water management system. This
    reduces space requirements, weight and costs significantly!

    Space concept

    Like the city specialist, the up!, already presented at the IAA in
    Frankfurt and the space up! shown in Tokyo, the space up! blue is a small
    space wonder too. Over a length of just 144.9 inches, a height of
    61.8 inches and a width of 64.2 inch, it offers the space of a
    considerably larger vehicle. The clever space concept of the space up!
    blue - which is 1,090 kilograms "light" despite the fuel cell and
    batteries - is largely due to the powertrain layout: the car's emissions-
    free electric motor operates - as did the engines of the Beetle and Bulli
    (Microbus) at one time - in the rear. Also housed in the rear are the
    lithium-ion batteries. The high-temperature fuel cell, on the other hand,
    was integrated in the front of the car.

    Exterior design

    Volkswagen is introducing the space up! blue as the third model variant
    of the "New Small Family". A common design philosophy unifies the up!
    concept car presented at the IAA in Germany, the space up! shown in Japan
    and the space up! blue. It is characterized by a simple, clear language
    of forms. The designers consciously omitted any superfluous gimmicks. As
    a result, the space up! blue also exhibits a completely new harmony
    between technical layout, on the one hand, and emotional design on the

    Front end: Distinguishing the front end of the "New Small Family" are the
    headlamps that take an inward diagonal line, between them the
    horizontally integrated air inlets (minimized aperture optimizes
    aerodynamics), the VW logo arranged on the front hood (as the only
    exterior detail kept in chrome) and the smooth-surfaced bumper with a
    lower segment.

    Side profile: On its sides, the concept car - like the Samba bus in
    earlier days - exhibits a long extended window section, additional roof
    windows and a clearly distinctive, powerful C-pillar whose form is
    typical of Volkswagen. The A-pillar is positioned far forward.

    The space between the A and C pillars is spanned by the line of butterfly
    doors with opposing hinges. Both the front and rear doors are opened by
    door handles at the height of the imaginary B pillars. Since the doors
    open in opposition and extend across nearly the entire space between the
    wheel housings - i.e. the entire sill length - all four seating positions
    are exceptionally convenient to access. A key concept here is wheel
    housings: Hidden under them are the self-confident and large 18-inch
    wheels with low rolling resistance tires sized 165/50. Distinctive in
    this area are the short front and rear overhangs. The front overhang,
    from the axle hub to the outer skin of the bumper measures just
    53 centimeters; in the rear it is 59 centimeters. The result: crisp

    Rear end: Also unmistakable are the design features of the rear end. Take
    the example of the rear door: It fills out practically the entire car
    area above the bumper. Similar to the smaller up!, the door - split
    1/3 to 2/3 - consists of a transparent material. Integrated beneath it
    are the taillights. Fully opened, the door offers a cargo width of
    101 centimeters. The bumper itself was designed to match its counterpart
    at the front end.

    Thanks to the wide track width of 1.42 meters (55.9 inches), the outer
    edges of the wheels line up with the wheel housings. The effect is that
    the entire vehicle width of 1.63 meters seems to consist of axles plus
    tires and wheels. Meanwhile, the only details that boldly jump outside of
    the vehicle width are the round-shaped outside mirrors.

    Interior design

    The space up! blue is a full-fledged four-seater that is extremely
    comfortable, even on long trips. The reason: The cushions of the four
    seats - for driver, front and rear passengers - consist of an airflow
    foam that automatically adapts to individual anatomies. In addition, the
    seating position is pleasantly high, making it extremely comfortable.
    Despite the extensive powertrain equipment, no compromises are made in
    the amount of space offered compared to versions with "normal" internal
    combustion engines: interior height (measured between the seat surface
    and car headliner) is 40.6 inches in front and 40 inches in the rear.
    With the exception of the driver's seat, all seats can also be folded and
    removed. If the seats are "only" folded, this creates a level cargo area
    with a capacity of up to 1,005 liters. With four people on board, cargo
    capacity up to the height of the window sill is still 220 liters.

    Intuitive interface

    Since the car's cockpit was conceived as a module to be applied across
    all models of the "New Small Family", the cockpit unit was adopted
    completely from concept cars presented in Frankfurt and Tokyo, with just
    slight modifications. An instrument panel that offers up everything at a
    glance: in detail, the space up! blue has two central displays. In the
    cockpit, an 8-inch monitor displays information such as vehicle speed,
    battery reserves, hydrogen volume and range. In the middle of the
    instruments a 7-inch monitor shows how future human-machine interfaces
    might look and operate. Here all conceivable functions are controlled via
    a touchscreen that - using proximity sensors - reacts to gestures as
    well, i.e. specific hand movements.

    Menuing was retooled and reorganized so that people without computer
    science educations can operate the system. The engineers 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 and audio volume control. Developers packaged functions of other
    higher- order systems - navigation, telephone, radio, images, films, 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 - the user just needs to move his or her hand to the display to
    switch to the telephone menu thanks to proximity sensor technology. Just
    like on the two members of the New Small Family already presented, this
    fact applies to the space up! blue too: 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.

For further information:

For further information: Patrick Saint-Pierre, (905) 428-5858,

Organization Profile

Volkswagen Canada Inc.

More on this organization

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890