Volkswagen space up! concept unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show
The Tokyo Motor Show today saw the debut of the space up! – the latest concept vehicle to join the Volkswagen up! small car family. The space up! takes its inspiration from the up! concept vehicle which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. Modest external dimensions belie the vehicle’s versatility. Its spacious interior features four individual seats, three of which can either be folded or removed completely to allow for up to 1,005 litres of luggage space.
Access to the boot area in confined spaces is made easier through the adoption of a pair of side hinging rear doors intersected by a Volkswagen roundel. As with the up! concept the space up! features a translucent panel at the rear into which are set the car’s high-intensity LED brake lights.
The space up! concept was penned by a team led by Chief Designer of the Volkswagen Group, Walter de Silva. It shares many traits in common with the up! including the simple, cohesive lines running through the vehicle. In the space up! the wheelbase extended to 2,560 mm to improve interior space while each of the 165/50 R18 wheels is pushed as far into each corner of the vehicle as possible. The overall length of the space up! grows by 230 mm and the height by 40 mm when compared with the up! concept. Despite the gains in size the space up! is still 150 mm shorter in length than the current smallest Volkswagen model, the Fox.
Walter de Silva commented: ‘The space up! offers maximum space on the smallest of platforms. Despite the character of the car we have avoided superfluous gimmicks of any kind. This has created a very confident design.’
As with the up! concept, the space up! features a small compartment at the rear for an engine – be it petrol, diesel or electric. Above this space is a luggage area which is complemented by the addition of a further stowage cubby under the bonnet. This space can be extended through a removable panel in the passenger footwell to allow for awkward loads.
The simplistic approach to the exterior design is reflected in the vehicle’s interior. Access is granted through unique butterfly doors hinged on the A and C pillars allowing for uninterrupted access to the front and rear seats. Clean surfaces are joined by intuitive and highly advanced touchscreen panels through which both climate and entertainment functions can be accessed. The screen in front of the driver relays information on the vehicle’s critical systems as well as instantaneous readings of the levels of CO2 being emitted by the vehicle.
Development of production versions of the up! family of vehicles is already underway with the aim of bringing a road-going version to the market before the end of the decade.