SA'S NEW SUPERMINI: Volkswagen has joined the brigade of super-small cars. Meet the VW Up! It's just arrived in South Africa - and was photographed in Cape Town. Image: Volkswagen
Move over Mercedes' li'l Smart, there's a new babycar in town! Volkswagen's Up! is full of charisma with potential to become the leader of A00 segment, says the automaker.
The Up!, launching here this week - made its global debut in 2011 and will be introduced below Volkswagen's Polo Vivo and Polo, which have been the top two best-selling passenger models in South Africa since 2010.
MOVING ON UP
The Up! Is powered by one-litre three-cylinder, quad-valve petrol engine. This 999cc unit makes 55kW at 6200rpm and 95Nm from 3000-4300rpm. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Standstill to 100km/h takes 13.2sec and top speed is 171km/h. General fuel consumptioin is listed as 4.7 litres/100km while emitting 108g/km of CO2.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 VW Up! playing in Cape Town
The Up! is available in two trim levels: Take Up! and Move Up! Each is competitively priced and offers a high level of standard equipment. A raft of safety features is standard.
At 3.54m long, 1.64m wide and 1.48m tall, the Up! is one of the world's smallest four-seater cars. Its overall length consists of short body overhangs and a long wheelbase of 2.42m; turning circle 9.8m.
However, the four-seater has one of the longest wheelbases in the segment, along with the engine mounted forward, making loads of space available inside the car. Something the original Mini started 50 years ago. The 251-litre boot is also significantly larger than is typical in this class. When the rear seat is fully folded, cargo space increases to 951 litres.
Viewed from the front, the Up! appears to smile, due to the prominent lines of the bumper. And it is intentionally smiling, according to chief designer Walter de Silva, having been designed to incorporate the elements of both ‘simplicity and sympathy’. He explained: "Sympathy is part of the Up! concept. It combines the friendliness of the Beetle with the rational perfection of the Golf."
The VW logo is the only chromed element at the front, the headlights are significantly smaller than those of other Volkswagens, yet they are visually prominent, says its maker.
VW says the design of the windows gives the Up! an unmistakable look with a short angle in front to create a formal connection between the lower-lying window edge and the bonnet. Over the short, steeply-rising bonnet, there is another line that leads over the windscreen and roof to the rear.
The Up! has a large boot-lid, which extends right down to the bumper. This so-called hybrid hatch consists of three basic layers. The border around the rear window and the lower section are coated in black from the inside. Forming a contrast to the black are the chromed surfaces of the logo and the Up! badge.
The boot-lid is opened by pressing a button in the handle under the logo.
The Up! design team placed great emphasis on good ergonomics. The Up! "really is perceptibly more comfortable, because its occupants do not sit too low, and it offers ample leg support and knee room. Detailed refinements characterise the entire interior", claims its maker.
Controls for the aircon, radio-CD system (optional in Take Up!), hazard lights, seat heating (only as an option in Move Up!) and rear window defrost are all located in the central dashboard module between the driver and front passenger. The entire unit is located up high – easy to see and use – and it is gloss black.
The interior of the Up! is not only designed to be functional, stylish and simple but also to offer fun and a high level of quality.
The Up! can be customised with a number of factory options such as 15" Waffle alloy rims, Sound “Plus” package with four speakers in front and two in the back, driver package (cruise control, parking radar, multi-function display), winter package (heatable seats and front fog lights), comfort package (front power windows and height-adjustable driver's seat) and sun roof.
Volkswagen Up! is available in six colours, white, blue, yellow, red, silver, black.
1.0 MPI Take Up! (55kW) - R133 500
1.0 MPI Move Up! (55kW) - R140 500
Volkswagen Up! is sold with a three-year or 120 000km warranty, a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and 15 000km service intervals.