Volkswagen’s new small car, codenamed Up, will be sold as the Lupo. It will also extend across four different brands, including Audi, Seat and Skoda, by the middle of the decade as part of the German car maker’s ambitious target to assume global market leadership by 2018.
Planned to replace the slow-selling Brazilian-built Fox as the entry point to the Volkswagen line-up when it reaches the UK in 2012, the Slovakian-produced Lupo is the first model in an extended range of contemporary small cars Wolfsburg officials call the New Small Family (NSF).
Originally conceived with a space saving rear-engined/rear-wheel drive layout, the new car has been extensively reworked during its three-year development process. Cost concerns have forced a switch to more a traditional front-engined, front-wheel drive design that VW says will allow it to use existing engine and gearbox combinations without any significant penalty in overall packaging.
The new VW is said to stretch to 3445mm in length, 1628mm in width and 1495mm in height, some 525mm shorter, 54mm narrower but 33mm higher than the three-door Polo.