Up effectively replaces the Lupo down at the bottom of the VW line

Up effectively replaces the Lupo down at the bottom of the VW line

Jokers at the Frankfurt show have already found a new name for Volkswagen's new city car, the Up, as a result of the vast array of different body styles and personalisation possibilities making their simultaneous world debut. It is being called the Up Yours.

It had been expected that the new car, which has been prefaced over the past two years by various design concepts, would appear in the initial three-door form only, possibly with the promised electric version, the e-Up [or eh-Up in Yorkshire - ed], alongside it.

But at Frankfurt there is everything from a GT version to a five-door soft-roader with a raised platform and even a convertible and a dune buggy. Not all of them should be taken seriously, but VW development chief Ulrich Hackenberg said the chain of variants would not stop with the three-door and electric versions.

"The GT is very realistic. Sporty cars are always attractive and lift the image. We would need a turbo injected engine, but we would be able to use that for other cars. I am sure we will make such a car. The Cross-Up (the raised-floor five-door) is also realistic,' he said.

The Up is a front-wheel-drive 3.5m city car powered by a new generation of one-litre three-cylinder petrol engines with emissions below 100g/km and fuel economy of more than 60mpg with stop-start. Right hand drive models go on sale in the UK next March from around GBP8,000 and it is apparently on the menu even for Australia.

Its new underbody structures and engines have been developed so that they can be expanded for the next generation VW Polo, and there will be Seat and Skoda versions.

The aim is to offer it with bright interior colours matching, or contrasting with, the exterior paintwork, and to have a wide choice of personalisation features and options including a mobile personal infotainment device called 'maps + more' which simply snaps into place above the centre console.

But the car also has a serious side. It can seat four, has a boot that half as big again as a Mini's and comes with grown-up features like stability control and an optional emergency braking system that can prevent, or at least minimise, low-speed urban accidents.