VW Up! Reviewed by Evo

When the VW Beetle debuted, it was meant as a cheap car for mass consumption. Now, it is merely a large, retro, fashion accessory that makes some murky link to its origins. However, a true Beetle successor does exist, but it is only available in Europe.

It is called the Up!, and it is meant to offer cheap, stylish, dependable transportation for lots of people. Sound familar? It may not have an air-cooled engine in the back, but it does have many cool engineering tricks to keep size and price small. European car amgazine Evo points out a few of them:

So the production Up has the usual front engine, front-wheel drive and torsion beam rear axle, but the engine is a new, all-aluminium, three-cylinder unit of 1.0 litre and either 60 or 95bhp. There will also be a 68bhp CNG version with just 79g/km CO2 when mated to the robotised manual transmission option. The Up is just over 3.5m long, weighs under a tonne (as you would hope) and has very short overhangs. At the front this is achived by mounting the radiator to the left side of the engine instead of in front of it.

As for how it drives:

Not remotely rapid. The 1.0-litre, 75bhp, 108g/km, five-speed manual takes 13.2sec to hit 62mph and runs out of steam at 106mph, and you need to stoke the engine mercilessly to stay with torquey, turbodiesel-powered traffic. But, as with many three-pots, it’s a very likeable engine with a deep, smooth note and a response keener than than the figurtes suggest. Unusually for a triple, it has no balancer shaft. This small engine’s reciprocating masses are too low to need balancing.

This is a light, airy car, beautifully made and detailed, and designed in the kind of industrial way that suits the painted-metal door edges and the lack of any padding. The dashboard is glossy, and body-coloured in most versions, and on it sits, optionally, a Navigon sat-nav/economy meter/control screen which you can take out and use, Tom-Tom-like, for on-foot navigation. It will talk to your phone, too.

The Up! will not be coming stateside, but it is nice to know that there are useful, attractive, and cheap cars out there.

For the full review, check out the article here.

  

Volkswagen celebrates the 21st century Beetle with Pete Wentz

Jonathan Browning, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group America greeted media and guests from around the world alongside celebrity music artist and DJ Pete Wentz to unveil the third generation, 21st Century Beetle yesterday. The morning kicked off with a personalized spin session from Wentz featuring songs from longtime friend and business partner Travis McCoy, and of course hip hop selections. Cheering Volkswagen fans sipped mimosas and noshed on mini bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and other morning favorites.

The sleek new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, only the third generation of this beloved iconic car, showcases the company’s style, performance, and the latest advances in German engineering. The 21st Century Beetle debuted on three continents this morning starting in Shanghai, China followed by events in Berlin and Lower Manhattan.

“I’m stoked to be here celebrating the unveiling of the 21st century Beetle,” Wentz remarked, before heading over to the chic red model for a second mini-session. “I love that the new Beetle is so sleek—it’s totally a guy’s car and I could see myself driving this updated version of the classic.” When asked if he had any cherished Volkswagen memories, as so many Americans do, Wentz smirked and divulged, “My favorite Volkswagen memory is getting to second base in the back seat!”

The event featured an introduction from Jonathan Browning and remarks from Luca de Meo, head of Global Marketing, and Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the brand. For more information on the 21st Century Beetle, visit vw.com or media.vw.com.

Photo credited to: Johnny Nunez

  

Retro Rides

Whether you’re a fan of Retro styling on your cars or not you have to give props to some of these cool rides! Of course not all of them hit the mark but at least you can’t accuse of them being boring!

From MSN.com:

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, or so the saying goes. But some car designers with an appreciation for history want to repeat it. That’s the theory, anyway, behind retro style. A nod backwards in time, retro styling can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your view of the original influence and your opinion about whether the new vehicle does justice to the old one.

Currently, classic muscle cars of the late 1960s and ’70s are the focus of retro stylists. But there are plenty of other examples — some good, some that miss the mark. Here is a snapshot of the 10 most notable retro-style rides on the road today.

Read the full article here.

  

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