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TopGear.com.ph Philippine Car News - Frankfurt preview: Volkswagen up!

Volkswagen is set to unveil at the Frankfurt Motor Show the smallest vehicle in its lineup--smaller than the Polo and even smaller than the already diminutive Fox--which it has called up!

The German carmaker call the up! as "a small Volkswagen with great potential" as it redefines the parameters of customizing with features like up! boxes (small, lightweight boxes for a wide variety of situations and needs like shopping, long trips or for when children are on board) and an infotainment system that owners can tailor to their personal profiles using apps.

Although the up! measures just 3,540mm in length, 1,640mm in width and 1,480mm in height, its 2,420mm wheelbase gives it a body layout that utilizes all the available space in the interior. Although the driver, front passenger and two rear passengers are traveling in a small car, the up! is by no means a cramped vehicle as it can accommodate 251 liters with the rear seats up and up to 951 liters when the rear seats are folded flat.

"If the goal is to maximize space, the ideal form for a small car would be a rectangular box. In the up! we were able to sculpt such a box with a clean and powerful design that does not lose sight of space utilization," said Klaus Bischoff, design chief for the Volkswagen Brand.

up! is also the first vehicle in its class to receive the city-emergency-braking system, which automatically activates at speeds under 30kph. It uses a laser sensor to detect the risk of an imminent collision. Depending on the vehicle's speed and the driving situation, the City Emergency Braking can automatically activate the brakes and reduce the severity of the crash or even avoid it altogether.

Set to first go on sale in the European market this December, the up! will initially be available with either a 60hp engine or a 75hp powerplant, both of which are of 1.0-liter displacement and equipped with BlueMotion Technology version including a Stop/Start system. Both engines are also very fuel efficient with consumption at just 23.809 and 23.256 kilometers per liter, respectively.

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Could this be the very first Volkswagen to reach the Philippines if and when Volkswagen finally sets up shop in the country this time around?

Click here for more updates on the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

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