Currently reading: Tokyo motor show 2013: Volkswagen Twin-Up hybrid
A plug-in diesel-electric version of the Volkswagen Up has been revealed, boasting 257mpg potential and an EV-only range of 31 miles
2 mins read
20 November 2013

The Volkswagen Twin-Up has been revealed at the Tokyo motor show.

The car runs a modified version of the plug-in diesel-electric hybrid driveline used in the hi-tech XL1 for spectacular claimed combined consumption of 257mpg along with a zero-emission electric range of 31 miles.  

The Twin-Up (a name alluding to the new car’s twin drive sources) was revealed by head of Volkswagen’s R&D operations, Hans-Jakob Neusser.

A more production-orientated version of the Twin-Up is planned to make its public debut alongside the recently unveiled all-electric e-Up at the Tokyo motor show.

The new four seater is among a range of alternative drive models under development at the German car maker, which has been customarily slow to bring both hybrid and electric power versions of its existing models to showrooms.

Described by Neusser as an engineering prototype with future production potential, the Twin-Up uses elements of the futuristically styled XL1’s hybrid system, although various components have been modified to offset the compact hatchback’s added weight.

Tipping the scales at 410kg above the XL1 at 1205kg, the Twin-Up receives an upgraded electric motor, a larger battery with an additional two modules raising its capacity to 8.6kWh and a diesel fuel tank boasting an additional 23 litres of capacity at 33 litres.

Power hails from the same turbocharged 800cc two-cylinder common rail diesel engine used in the XL1. Mounted transversely in the engine bay, it produces 47bhp and 88lb ft of torque. The combustion engine is supported by an electric motor developing a similar 47bhp – 20bhp more than the unit used in the XL1 – and 103lb of torque.

Altogether, the Twin-Up boasts a combined system output of 74bhp and 158lb ft. Drive is channeled through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to the front wheels.

While still in the early stages of development, Volkswagen claims the Twin-Up accelerates from 0-to-37mph in 8.8sec, 0-62mph in a 15.7sec and reaches a top speed limited to 87mph in hybrid mode.

With claimed combined consumption of 257mpg on the European test procedure, the diesel-electric powered Up boasts average CO2 emissions of just 27g/km. An e-mode function also allows the driver to select pure electric propulsion for distances up to 31 miles and speeds up to 78mph.

Read more 2013 Tokyo motor show news.


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7 November 2013
0-37 in 8.8 seconds is really slow by any standard, (and surprising for something with an electric motor which gives all that torque from standstill) and means it'll struggle to keep up with the general flow of traffic even in town centres.

7 November 2013
There are not enough people buying the standard up, so I can't see many willing to purchase what will obviously be a very expensive, very heavy, very slow and unproven "economy" model. I think VW should try and keep things light and simple and affordable. That approach may yield just as impressive real world economy / CO2 figures, and there is more chance that people might actually buy it.

7 November 2013
[quote=LP in Brighton]There are not enough people buying the standard up...[/quote] Where exactly have you plucked that from? UK up sales so far this year are higher than Ford Ka, about third in its segment.

7 November 2013
.......powered by power units seemingly nicked from concrete mixers and of so minimal a performance that they don't need a registration number. As the Up! looks like a washing machine on wheels anyway, the whole ensemble is likely to be about as welcome as a f*rt in a spacesuit in Billy Connolly's words.

7 November 2013
[quote=Flatus senex].......powered by power units seemingly nicked from concrete mixers and of so minimal a performance that they don't need a registration number. [/quote] Aren't they called Axiams? The 'concrete mixer' sound is produced by a 400cc twin-cylinder diesel, sufficiently small for it to be classed as a quadricycle: weight <350kg, power <4kw, speed <30mph. They cost the same to buy as a regular supermini (£8.4k) but you don't need a licence to drive one in France. Not so in the UK, but you are allowed to drive one at 16 just like a moped. Probably not the first car on an Autocar readers' shopping list.

7 November 2013
I assume the 0-37 and 0-62 times of 8.8 and 15.7 sec are for the car in electric only mode? Probably fast enough. And for those knocking the Up - try it first - even with 60bhp it's nippy, fun and surprising spacious inside for a supermini, but a little bit out of it's depth on the motorways. With twin power this sounds a fun and practical proposition - but only if the price is right.

7 November 2013
They are heading completely the wrong direction with diesel. The power and acceleration would be acceptable with an 800cc turbo petrol. It could have double the power from the engine.

7 November 2013
The Volkswagen Group appears to be trying too hard with their eco offerings (mind you - nothing on the road so far). Who gives a toss about 200 and 300 miles? Just give us a car that does 100mpg without costing an arm and a leg. Thanks.

20 November 2013
Can't wait for the scathing reviews and the first journalist to use "What a F*** Up!" ...

20 November 2013
[quote=Suzuki QT]Can't wait for the scathing reviews and the first journalist to use "What a F*** Up!" ...[/quote]Strikes me as the sort of name that only an utterly humourless organisation would ever dream "up". Not quite in the same league as the Renault Wind but not far off.


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