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Over the past few years, Volkswagen has unveiled numerous Up! concepts, showcasing the brand’s capabilities when it comes to interior space, electric vehicle engineering, hybrid technology and even light-weight.
Set to go on sale in 2012, the Up! Concept will revive the Lupo name, which ceased production in 2005 as the entry level model in the VW lineup, slotting in underneath the already small Polo.
According to a new report by AutoCar, the Slovakian-built new Lupo will go on sale in 2012. VW will also sell rebadged versions of the car as an Audi, Seat and Skoda.
The Lupo will be 20-inches shorter in length than the Polo, 2-inches narrower and 1.3-inches taller.
While official details are not yet known, at launch the Lupo is expected to be offered with a 65-hp 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine and a 75-hp 1.2-liter diesel. Initially introduced as a 3-door, a 5-door model will launch later with an 85-hp 1.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder.
An electric version of the car is expected to be offered in limited markets in the United States, but VW has no other plans to bring Up!/Lupo models to North America. In fact, Volkswagen has yet to announce official plans to bring even the sub-compact Polo to North America, despite the growing popularity of smaller cars here.
VW eager to learn from Suzuki's success in the mini-car market
Volkswagen is reportedly looking at purchasing a 10 percent stake in Suzuki as it looks to create a solid partnership with the Japanese automaker. Te reason for VW’s interest is Suzuki’s expertise in mini cars – like the Suzuki Alto, pictured above.
The Alto is currently the best-selling vehicle in India and Volkswagen wants to make sure it has a strong presence in emerging markets.
Suzuki, while a small player in developed markets like North America, is actually Japan’s second largest automaker if you count mini-car sales.
The partnership between the two automakers would see the development of a mini car to slot in under the upcoming small cars that will be based on the Volkswagen Up! concept (pictured below). The family of cars based on the Up! will be manufactured in Bratislava, Slovakia, are due out in 2011.
Representatives from both Volkswagen and Suzuki have denied to comment on the matter, but VW’s CEO Ferdinand Piech has previously expressed interest in the Suzuki brand.
GALLERY: Suzuki Alto