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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Apr 05 2012, 9:53 AM

Volkswagen‘s Up! continued the trend from the past four years of small cars winning the World Car of the Year Award at the New York Auto Show today.

“Our goal was always to make something small great,” a Volkswagen executive said on stage.

To garner the award, the Up! beat both the volume-selling and luxurious BMW 3 Series and the thrilling Porsche 911. The victory suggests that journalists across the world are putting a growing emphasis on greener, or at least more fuel-efficient vehicles.

This victory for means the automaker won four of the past five years for the most prestigious of the four awards offered by the World Car Awards each year.

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 01 2012, 5:15 PM

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Volkswagen will be bringing their hip, new Up! model to the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in four concept flavors to show off its versatility. The four concepts include a Swiss Up!, Winter Up!, Orange x Up!, and Cargo Up!

The Swiss Up! concept will sport the Swiss flag’s colors and a Tornado Red paint and contrasting white mirror caps. On the inside is a white dashboard, giving it a complete color scheme fitting for the Switzerland motor show. The Winter Up! will sport a white and blue theme while carrying a pair of snowboards on the roof. And to make it a snow-friendly car, the concept has a raised ride height, underbody protection, and an ESP with an electronic differential lock.

The bright Orange x Up! is a concept for “nighttime expeditions”, according to VW and has built-in searchlights on its roof box. Lastly is the Cargo Up! which appears to be a concept that could make it into production. The rear seats have been removed for extra loading space and has a carrying capacity of almost 940 lbs. It also has extra underbody protection panels and a higher ride height to compensate for the extra weight from its cargo. A plexiglas sheet separates the driver from its cargo.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Up! Concepts

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 |  Feb 01 2012, 3:58 PM

Whittled down from all the cars in the world, a group of 66 automotive journalists from across the globe have released their top 10 picks for the 2012 World Car of the Year and World Performance Car.

That list, which will be further narrowed this month, is initially selected by secret ballot and then submitted for re-evaluation by the panel.

Members then have a chance to rate each car based on overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance. The top three are then scheduled to be announced March 6 at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show during a press conference.

The 2011 World Car of the Year was the Nissan Leaf, while the World Performance Car was the Ferrari 458 Italia. What we’re most curious about this year is the fact that the Porsche 911 made it into both categories.

The 2012 World Performance Car finalists are:

The 2012 World Car of the Year finalists are:

  • Audi A6 Sedan / Avant
  • Audi Q3
  • BMW 1 Series
  • BMW 3 Series
  • Chevrolet Volt / Opel/Vauxhall Ampera
  • Citroen DS5
  • Ford Focus
  • Land Rover Evoque
  • Porsche 911
  • Volkswagen Up!

Be sure to tune in for our coverage of the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, where we’ll be bringing you the latest. Also, let us know what you think of both lists in the comments section below.

 |  Jan 25 2012, 9:47 AM

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In 1989, Rick Moranis played a nerdy dad who accidentally downsized his children to an insect scale in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids. He probably wouldn’t have believed it if someone told him that 23 years later automakers would be doing the same thing to their cars.

For those of us living in the North American 2012, there are increasingly large swarms of little cars buzzing around the streets. The din their tiny engines makes isn’t overwhelming yet, but just wait.

General Motors’ German subsidiary, Opel, is planning to release a micro car they’re calling the Allegra (or, tentatively, Junior). No, not the allergy medication, though the thing is small enough to be mistaken for a bee in ragweed season, at least compared to the standard American palate. When the Allegra hits Europe in 2013 it will probably stand to compete against cars like the Volkswagen Up, MINI Cooper and Fiat 500.

In fact, it’s a solid 3.3 feet longer than the Mercedes-Benz spawned Smart ForTwo, which looks like a cross between a golf cart and an alien space pod. Our spies caught the Opel Allegra on camera during winter testing, but what’s the big deal? Opel cars aren’t sold in North America, right?

Well, not necessarily. Rumors are floating around that the not-so-smallish micro car might make it overseas rebadged as a Buick. (Why not? It’s not the first Buick to come from Opel). And with the recent launch of the Fiat 500 and the Scion iQ on our shores, the market for mini-cars is growing.

Of course, the name will likely change to keep big pharma happy.

GALLERY: Opel Allegra/Junion Spy Photos

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 |  Jan 23 2012, 7:00 PM

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A showcase of compact, economic, and intelligent cabin design and ergonomics, Volkswagen reveals the 5-door version of its Up! city-car. Other than the addition of two extra doors for easier accessibility and a more conservative side profile that will further enhance rear visibility, the 5-door version is identical in wheelbase and interior dimensions. Power is available either via a 60-horsepower, 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine or a 75 horsepower version. Cargo space within the Up! is nearly 9 cubic feet and can be expanded to 33.6 cubic feet once the rear bench is folded down.  Volkswagen expects to see nearly half of total Up! sales made up of the five-door.

Options, trims, and configurations will be similar to those available for the 3-door hatchback. Pricing for the 5-door Up! begins at 10,325 euro in Germany, a 475 euro premium over the standard 3-door model.

First available in the European market later this year, Volkswagen has no intention of introducing the new Up! city cars in North America.

GALLERY: Volkswagen Up! 4-door Hatchback

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 |  Oct 07 2011, 1:15 PM

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Volkswagen‘s Up! city car will go on sale in the United Kingdom for £7,995 up to £11,180 ($12,422 to $17,371) with deliveries starting in the spring of 2012.

A range of 1.0L three-cylinder gasoline engines will power the Up! with power ranging from 58 to 73 horsepower. The base Up! will be quite spartan but will come with features such as an MP3 input jack, a full suite of airbags and body-colored bumpers. Premium versions will get a navigation system, alloy wheels and power mirrors.

For more information on the Volkswagen Up, please visit http://www.vwupforums.com/

[Source: Auto Express]

 |  Aug 22 2011, 11:45 AM

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Set to launch in December in the European market, Volkswagen‘s up! looks to be the next great small car in the segment, especially since it’s the first with City Emergency Braking. The up! features a 1.0L three-cylinder gasoline engine with BlueMotion Technology and a Stop/Start system, allowing the powerplants to get 56-mpg from its 59-hp variant and 55-mpg from its 74-hp version. There is also a natural gas engine version with 67-hp and gets a combined fuel consumption of 73-mpg. Volkswagen also announced that they’re considering an electric up! for 2013.

The City Emergency Braking feature uses a laser sensor to detect the risk of an imminent collision and initiating automatic brake interventions. The up! is the only vehicle in the segment to offer this technology, which becomes active automatically anytime the vehicle is going slower than 18-mph.

Much like other vehicles in the class, the up! has ample interior and cargo room despite looking so small from the outside. The unique design is further played on with the option of up! boxes such as the “kid box”, “city box” or “travel box” – each have their own functionality. The “kid box” for example was designed for parents and children and includes a bag for the small items essential to small children and a lunch box for snacks.

For the first time in a VW, the up! will also feature a maps + more system, essentially a mobile Portable Information Device. It works with the Navigation in order to provide navigation to up! drivers and simple puts all of the infotainment into one central location.

Three trim levels will be made available to the European market this December with the basic Take Up!, the mid-level Move Up! and the top-spec High Up!. These three are joined by the Up! Black and Up! White launch models. No pricing was announced for any of the up! models.

GALLERY: 2012 Volkswagen Up!

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 |  Feb 01 2011, 12:20 PM

Volkswagen is planning to spread the platform love with its new Up city car, with Czech subsidiary Skoda being the first VW division to get the tiny car, with a SEAT-branded version to follow.

Packaged as a three-door five-seater, a 1.0L gasoline engine and a 1.2L diesel engine will be offered, with an all-electric version to follow. Starting at less than $10,000, the Up variants will go against the Toyota iQ and other cars deemed too small for North American tastes.

With Skoda and SEAT representing downmarket brands for VW in Europe, giving them the minicars is a no-brainer, and we expect them to be very popular, especially in light of how a Volkswagen Golf is something of a luxury good in high-tax countries.

[Source: Inside Line]