VW is fast-tracking development of an affordable city car

Autocar has learned that Volkswagen is fast-tracking development of an affordable new two-seat city car.

In its most economical form, the new VW will return a class-leading 141mpg and emit less than 60g/km of CO2 – all without hybrid drive.

The three-door hatchback is set to go head-to-head with the Smart and Toyota iQ. It is strongly tipped by VW insiders to be called Chico after a VW concept car from 1991, and will become the entry-level VW, below the Up!.

It could cost as little as £6000 when it goes on sale in the UK in 2011.

The new VW will be based on a modified version of the chassis from the Up! The car has a comparatively low roofline and narrow track aimed at providing it with class-leading aerodynamics.

VW chairman Martin Winterkorn says this is vital to achieving the fuel consumption and emission targets planned for the car: “The Up! has a tall design and as a result there are limits to its overall aerodynamic performance,” said Winterkorn. “Our newest car is a good deal lower and because of this it carries a lot less drag.”

Inside, there is space for two adults and a limited amount of luggage in a layout not dissimilar to the Smart city car.

The new Volkswagen will use a new 1.2-litre four-cylinder direct-injection petrol unit with a cylinder shutdown device that allows it to run on just two cylinders. It will be joined by a 1.2-litre three-cylinder common-rail diesel, which will be introduced in next year’s new Polo.

Stop-start technology, regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tyres will be standard features.

Volkswagen had envisaged a new range of two-cylinder engines for the city car but found that they required relatively high revs in the initial drive-off phase, negating any advantage in fuel consumption and emissions over the larger engines.

VW is also looking at an electric version using battery technology from Toshiba. This rival to the Smart ED is under development at a new electric vehicle development centre established by Volkswagen in Isenbuettel near Wolfsburg in Germany.

Greg Kable

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Comments
17

25 November 2008

QUITE BRILLIANT

This is exactly what all the motoring manufacturers around the world should be producing (of course in multi seat versions as well) and drop all the mega expensive mega performance models that are so totally out of keeping with the economic times we now live in. Furthermore and morally, with sensible vehicles like this the ever dwindling fuel reserves will go one hell of a lot further.Some weeks ago I suggested on the Autocar FORUM that there ought to be a 100 / 100 / 100 formula with the 100’s being respectively 100 mpg minimum fuel consumption, 100g/km of CO2 maximum and 100 mph maximum top speed……….. this new concept would appear to tick most of those boxes !

Loving life in France with my Springers

25 November 2008

[quote dillonsamben]This is exactly what all the motoring manufacturers around the world should be producing (of course in multi seat versions as well) and drop all the mega expensive mega performance models that are so totally out of keeping with the economic times we now live in. Furthermore and morally, with sensible vehicles like this the ever dwindling fuel reserves will go one hell of a lot further.Some weeks ago I suggested on the Autocar FORUM that there ought to be a 100 / 100 / 100 formula with the 100’s being respectively 100 mpg minimum fuel consumption, 100g/km of CO2 maximum and 100 mph maximum top speed……….. this new concept would appear to tick most of those boxes ! [/quote]

Being a sceptic, I would hold fire until the final figures for this car are released. VW have got a habit of teasing us with a mouth watering spec (read the original incarnation of the UP!), then saying it can't be done for what ever reason.

Yes the figures are achievable but in some ways they look too good to be true.

Thinking out loud here for a second, is this the first incarnation of the Gordon Murray small car?!?!?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

25 November 2008

Boring.

What's the point of a 2 seater car with the engine up front? If it's gonna be impractical anyway, it might as well have the motor behind the driver.

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I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

25 November 2008

If you can make a Bluemotion Polo (the same size as a Mk1 Golf, remember?) do 100g/km, then it should be possible to get a Smart sized car to output significantly less. The problem with the FourTwo and the new lil Toyota is that they just don't give you the kind of figures that they look like they should in terms of CO2 and MPG - maybe VW can make the numbers add up.

25 November 2008

I'll be in the queue if it works.

25 November 2008

Fantastic, this is what we all need - more cars like the Smart, iQ - I just can't wait to see this now. And the Up!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

25 November 2008

And so will be a zillion other open mouthed and open cheque book motorists 230SL.

And YES TegTypeR, come on Gordon Murray now go and get another handful of manufacturers going along similar lines because we all know that a total genius like Murray is knows what the motoring public really want.

And now Ferrari, Lamborghini, Zolda, all American cars, most of Mercedes, most of BMW, all 4x4’s et all, et all, et all……………… please follow this orderly queue to the lemming party at the highest cliffs on planet earth !

Loving life in France with my Springers

25 November 2008

[quote Autocar]all without hybrid drive[/quote]

[quote Autocar]Stop-start technology, regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tyres will be standard features. [/quote]

How does the regenerative braking work then? Flywheel?

25 November 2008

[quote NiallOswald]How does the regenerative braking work then? Flywheel? [/quote] Assumptions (you know what they say about those) would indicate that the "regenerative braking" would be purely to charge the battery. So everytime you lift off the alternator engages and charges the battery, thus not putting the engine under any extra strain when accelerating/cruising than it has to. Obviously this is not hybrid - as the energy is not going into drive, but it does help reduce load on the engine.

25 November 2008

I don't get it. If its a 2-seater, why do the pictures have 4 seats?

Looks like a mighty impressive achievement if they can do it!!!

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