Volkswagen unveils Up! Lite concept

Volkswagen unveils Up! Lite concept  
Filed under:
Concept Cars, Motor Shows, Volkswagen
on 12/02/2009

Source: Volkswagen

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Drawing inspiration from the L1 Concept which made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Volkswagen has today unveiled the pioneering new Up! Lite concept, a vehicle which sets new standards in economy and efficiency.

Packaged in a body with a coefficient of drag measuring just 0.237, the Up! Lite is capable of seating four adults in comfort yet thanks to its hybrid drivetrain it can travel 115.7 miles on a single gallon of fuel while emitting just 65 g/km of CO2.

A combination of efficiency gains make these figures possible, but perhaps the most important is a total kerb weight of just 695 kg – that’s almost 30 per cent lighter than Volkswagen’s Fox city car.

Powering the Up! Lite is an 800 cc two cylinder common rail diesel engine closely linked to that seen in the L1 Concept developing 51 PS at 4,000 rpm and 88 lbs ft of torque between 1,800 rpm and 2,250 rpm. The diesel engine is combined with an electric motor developing 14 PS to give the Up! Lite a useful boost when overtaking. Alternatively it can be disengaged from the diesel engine entirely and used during low speed manoeuvres. Gear changes are carried out via a seven-speed twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox. As with the current range of BlueMotion models, the Up! Lite uses a Start-Stop system to maximise efficiency and regenerative braking.

The Up! Lite is constructed from a mix of lightweight materials including aluminium and carbonfibre to keep the vehicle’s kerb weight to a minimum. Even the diesel engine has been optimised and weighs just 55 kg. This allows the concept’s modest 65 PS hybrid drivetrain to power the Up! Lite from rest to 62 mph in 12.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 100 mph.

The styling of the Up! Lite joins the mechanical changes in breaking new ground for Volkswagen. The Up! Lite debuts a new styling direction with obvious references to current products such as the Polo and Golf but with entirely new elements such as the rear end styling and the window line. Measuring 3,840 mm in length the concept is slightly shorter than the Polo and is styled to maximise aerodynamic efficiency. Examples of aerodynamic modifications include the front radiator grille which shuts off completely when it’s not required and tiny cameras which take the place of conventional wing mirrors.

The minimalist theme continues in the interior of the Up! Lite which features bright, clean surfaces to reduce clutter and therefore complexity. The main controls for the operation of the vehicle are grouped around the steering wheel, while the climate and entertainment functions are handled by the central touchscreen. Up front, the driver and passenger seats fold forward to allow access for the rear-seat passengers. For larger loads the rear seats and the front passenger seat can all fold flat into the floor.

Using components from the New Small Family of vehicles set to be launched from 2011 onwards, the Up! Lite is intended as a step towards a viable production car.

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