While announcing a new, more powerful Up! GT (its 1.0 liter engine is getting a turbocharger, upping horsepower to 109), Volkswagen officials also stated that its city car will be getting an electric version.
VW E-Up! Concept Debuted In Frankfurt in 2009
Originally the car's name was thought to change to the Blue-e-motion, but it appears the German company is going with the concept's name of E-UP! instead.
VW has had the E-UP! on the shelf, but ready for production for some time, as the concept first appeared in 2009 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
At the time, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Volkswagen Group, gave this not-so-ringing endorsement, foreshadowing the car's slow introduction:
"Cars with pure petrol and diesel engines – which in the foreseeable future will continue to be unbeatable for mid- to long-range distances – will be supplemented by cars like the E-Up! in coming years."
VW E-Up! Concept Interior
We can know quantify what the statement of "in coming years" means, as VW has said the EV will go on sale in the first half of 2013. The company also states that if the E-Up! is "well received" that an all electric Golf will go in production in 2014.
E-Up! Cutaway (click to enlarge)
While no specifications where released at the time of the announcement, it is assumed the production version will stay 95% true to the concept, which had a 60 kW (80hp) motor powered by a 18 kWh lithium battery.
The E-Up! is reported by VW as having a range of 130 km (80 miles). Acceleration is decently brisk, despite a very small electric motor, as the city EV gets to 100 km/hr (62 miles) in about 11 seconds, and to 50 km/hr (31 miles) in 3.5 seconds thanks to a very light 2,400 lb weight.