12 November 2004

This is Volkswagen’s all-new city car, which could be on sale in the UK next summer for as little as £7000. The Fox will be officially unveiled at the Leipzig motor show on 1 April and VW is said to be aiming for a sub-£10k European price tag.

Although the Fox will be built at the Sao Jose dos Pinhais plant near Curitiba, Brazil, VW is claiming the quality will be on par with the best in class, and a step up from the Lupo. The Germans are also keen to avoid budget car comparisons with the new Dacia Logan, built in Eastern Europe by Renault.

The Fox’s 3804mm length makes it closer in size to the Polo than the Lupo, although it is narrower and taller than both. The 260-litre boot space is just 10 litres shy of the Polo’s, although that’s with the Toyota Yaris-style sliding rear seat pushed forward, eliminating rear legroom.

Rumours suggest the main powerplant will be a 1.4-litre petrol unit making 74bhp, as used in the Lupo and Polo. In South America, though, the Fox gets a 100bhp 1.6-litre.Although likely to be priced very close to the Lupo, Volkswagen says that the two models will continue side-by-side, at least until the end of 2005. The Seat Arosa, built on the same platform as the Lupo, should end production at Christmas.

Meanwhile, cashing in on the trend for faux-4x4s and mini-crossovers is the Crossfox, unveiled at the recent Sao Paolo Motor Show. A jacked-up version of the Fox, aimed at the likes of the Fiat Panda 4x4 and continuing the pattern started by its big brother the Polo Dune, the Crossfox should be here next summer – despite the question mark that hangs over its final clearance for UK sales. Some styling tweaks may also be applied before the car lands in British showrooms.

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