Development difficulties see VW Up! going front-wheel-drive

Volkswagen’s new affordable small car range, code-named Up!, may have to be converted from rear-drive to front-drive, VW insiders have revealed. The Up! concept was revealed last year with an ultra-compact twin- or three-cylinder engine mounted under its rear seat to drive the rear wheels. But after development difficulties, the Up! may have to be converted to a more conventional front-wheel-drive layout to achieve its original targets.Early versions of the car had been hailed as 'the real new Beetle' because of the radical mechanical layout. The Up! is due on the market in 2010 and various versions will be built by at least three of the VW Group marques.But the project is believed to have three key difficulties. First, the low-cost, mid-engined layout of the Up! is proving more costly to engineer than anticipated. It’s apparently difficult to accommodate a radiator in the car's nose and trunk coolant through the car. Second, the Up!’s rearward weight bias has caused problems with cross-wind stability in early testing. The combination of these two serious factors is threatening to force styling compromises the company might yet reject. However VW bosses insist these problems can be beaten, that the project is very much alive, and that one of its central objectives remains to put an affordable car on the market that looks and performs like the original concept.

See more pictures of the Volkswagen Up! concept

Steve Cropley

Join the debate

Comments
7

18 July 2008

Did I read scoop on this splash before? Or has Autocar taken that boast off already?

This isn't a newsstory broken by Autocar. The German auto press reported it a month ago:

http://www.autobild.de/artikel/vw-up-doch-mit-frontmotor_722663.html 19.6.2008

'Der Mini soll aus Kostengründen doch keinem Heckmotor bekommen.' The car[Up!] will out of cost reasons no rear-engine get however.

AutoBild was one on many in Germany to have reported this. And note, I think you are are being sent a curve ball by VW UK Press on the involved, manifold technical reasons for no rear engine. It is as was reported already predominantly down to cost and economies of scale with platform sharing.

18 July 2008

Or maybe it's not down to any of these reasons. Maybe it's because, due to the 10/90 front/rear weight distribution coupled with rear-wheel drive, the first test driver left the track at the first sniff of a corner and disappeared into the tyres spinning like a top...

www.eco-trainer.net

18 July 2008

[quote theoriginalshoe]Or maybe it's not down to any of these reasons. Maybe it's because, due to the 10/90 front/rear weight distribution [/quote]

The intention was for the engine to be under the rear seats, above/just in front of driven rear axle, not rear-engined a la Beetle, 911 as your nonsensical comment implies. Address the facts.

http://www.autozeitung.de/online/index.php?render=133552

18 July 2008

Aaarrrrggghhh!

Front wheel drive cars are the work of Satan.

-------- 

I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

19 July 2008

[quote Autocar]after development difficulties, the Up! may have to be converted to a more conventional front-wheel-drive layout to achieve its original targets.[/quote]

A Mitsubishi i anyone?

I guess the Japanese have better knowledge of making cars...

21 July 2008

[quote TheOmegaMan]Front wheel drive cars are the work of Satan. [/quote]

Our dark lord just loves the improved packaging efficiency and predictable understeer.

5 August 2008

[quote loather]Address the facts.[/quote]

Note to self: never make tongue-in-cheek comment as loather might get the wrong end of the stick

www.eco-trainer.net

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week