The news that Volkswagen India is testing the Up! for India should come as no surprise to you. Our dedicated reader Michael Tomy has managed to snap a few images of the Up! testing in Viman Nagar, Pune.
Weirdly, the model caught on test is a 3-door variant. Launching the 3-door VW Up! variant in India would be suicidal because the market of three door hatchbacks is nonexistent.
Of course, Volkswagen could be just testing technologies or the platform in this case. Previously we have also seen a test mule of 5-door version of Up! along with this vehicle, which is the best suited in India.
The rear of the Up!, in outline, is similar to a chemical jar. The Honda Brio is blushing looking at the all-glass hatch, but immediately starts envying its small integrated wiper.
Although Volkswagen India is still sitting on the fence when it comes to the Up! India debut, we strongly believe that the end result would be affirmative. A mass market product such as the Up!, if launched in India at the right price, would give Volkswagen the necessary volumes to reach the target of 10 million car sales by 2018.
The VW Up! that is testing in India is a re-engineered version of the European one. Reports suggest that German engineers are working on redesigning parts of the Up!
Volkswagen may improve the space at the rear for the emerging markets as it is put to use more frequently. There are also plans to increase the boot space by moving the spare wheel below the body. We have no way to verify these claims until we get to see the mule ourselves.
When (or if) the Volkswagen Up! launches in India, it will sit below the VW Polo hatchback. Competition will come from industry stalwarts such as Maruti Wagon R and Hyundai i10 (2nd and 3rd best selling cars respectfully).
As for now, the Volkswagen Up! is powered by the same 1.0L, three-cylinder engine generating 60hp or 75 hp. It is mated to a 5 speed manual delivering 27 kmpl on a European cycle.
If Volkswagen wants to sell the Up! in big volumes they need to plonk a compact diesel engine with 23-25 kmpl (real life economy). A semi automatic gearbox which was launched in the UK would be an excellent selling point.
Volkswagen India is pretty stagnant from the perspective of product launches for a long time now. Sure, we saw updated version of the Polo and Vento, but we don’t expect them to shake things up.
The re-engineered VW Up! might just be the answer to all Volkswagen problems in India.
VOLKSWAGEN INDIA BEGINS LOCALIZATION OF THE UP! HATCHBACK EVEN AS IT AWAITS GO AHEAD FROM VW GERMANY
That the Indian car market, especially the entry level small car segment, is extremely cost conscious is a foregone conclusion. This single minded focus on lower costs has resulted in the country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki, being extremely successful in the small car market. So, everything in the small car segment revolves around value pricing and car makers like General Motors have struggled to get the equation right in India. Last year, Volkswagen launched its big volume, mass market small car, the Up! in Europe. Ever since, the interest around the car has quite high in India.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen India has been spotted testing both 3 door and 5 door variants of the Up! hatchback in India. While VW India decided to not showcase the Up!, surprisingly so, at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo, the car maker has been feverishly working to localize the Up! sufficiently so that the cost of the car becomes affordable for the Indian car market. That said, Volkswagen’s Germany headquarters is yet to sign off the Up! for production in India. So, even though VW India is working to bring the cost of the Up! down to competitive levels, the final decision on whether this car will be launched in India remains with the German HQ.
The Volkswagen Up! is being sold in Europe and a key right hand drive market, the United Kingdom. The Up! has also spawned badge engineered variants like the Skoda CitiGO and the Seat Mii. The Up! is currently available with petrol and electric power options. The petrol engine is a 1 Liter, 3 cylinder unit that is available in two states of tune, 59 Bhp and 74 Bhp. Both these engines are mated to a five speed manual gearbox and are said to be highly fuel efficient. A semi-automatic gearbox has also been introduced on the Up! as a more convenient option for city car buyers.
The Up! is also available in an all-electric variant. Also, a crossover version of the Up!, called the CrossUp, which comes with higher ground clearance and butch looks, is expected to be launched in the coming years. If launched in India, the Volkswagen Up! could take on the likes of the Maruti Alto K10 and the Hyundai Eon, in terms of price and positioning. For now though, the Volkswagen Up! still remains on the drawing board as far as its Indian launch is concerned.
the up in the uk is currently available in 3 door & 5 door
59bhp and 74bhp they both have the same engine just different mapping in the ecu
currently only available in petrol but an electric version is to be launched in 2013
The petrol engine comes with the option of manual 5 gear or automatic there is also a bluemotion version which gives greater fuel consumption i have the bluemotion myself and on a good day I can achieve 80 mpg, which is higher than the quoted 68.9 mpg
A GT up! is also planned for launch in 2013, this car will boast a 109bhp tsi engine and has a brutish face lift
I am fast approaching the 4000 miles mark and not had a single problem with my up! this has got to be the best small car I have had, the ride if firm but comfortable, corners well even at speed you might think with only 1L engine and only 3 cylinders the acceleration might suffer well that is not the case I can easily pull away from a stand still and stay ahead of the pack on fast roads just drop into 3rd gear and I have power to take it up to 70 - 80 mph without even trying,
Interior is very stylish with its black high gloss dash and red black lite displays and buttons, height adjustable drivers seat is very comfortable although when letting people in the back it dose not have memory for the last location of the front seat
a couple of things that vw could improve on are electric passenger window controls are only on the passenger side (no dual control for driver) and parcel shelf in the boot does not return to the down position when boot door is closed