Although certainly fitting the aesthetic profile, details regarding the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept differ rather drastically from the rumors that surfaced a little over a year ago. Then, VW was purportedly working on a 50-horsepower smart fortwo challenger that would supposedly average 117mpg, but plans seem to have changed.
While comparable in size (10.5′ x 5.4′ x 4.8′, against the smart’s 8.8′ x 5.1′ x 5.1′), the VW E-Up! Concept scheduled to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show is an emissions-free, plug-in electric car with no combustion engine in sight. Power is provided by a 60 kW, 210 Nm electric motor and an 18 kW lithium ion battery, and the entire penny racer weighs in at a mere 2392 lbs. Together, the modest torque and near featherweight status allow the E-Up! Concept to hit the 0-30mph mark in 3.5s, which isn’t impressive when compared to any sedan ever manufactured, but gives you an edge over the masses when driving in tight, congested city conditions (of course so would a bike, and for about $10,000 less too, but that’s neither here nor there).
Inside, designers relied on a minimalist approach in order to keep weight down and free up as much space in the sardine can as possible. Power windows were ditched in favor of the throwback crank (bet you thought you’d never see those again) and mirror adjustments will have to be made the old fashioned way – which means have mercy on the unwitting soul who knocks your passenger side mirror askew, for hell hath no fury like a man who just spent an exasperated half hour sitting in the driver’s seat, instructing his friend to move the mirror just an inch to the left, now up, no no not that much! Down, ok a little more, now to the right…