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VW Up! Concept  (Source: Autoblog Green)

  (Source: Autoblog Green)
Volkswagen's tiny Up! to get a hybrid powertrain

Volkswagen (VW) is no stranger to fuel efficiency in the United States. While the company may currently known for its 200HP GTI pocket rocket and Eos retractable hardtop-chick mobile, the company also has deep roots in diesel motors.

The company is famous for its TDI engines which in recent years have been available in a number of vehicles including the New Beetle, Jetta, Passat and Touareg. TDI engines are currently on hiatus in the United States due to more stringent emissions requirements, but VW will bring to market a new Tier 2 Bin 5 TDI engine for the Jetta next year (and likely also for the Passat, New Beetle and Rabbit).

If VW has its way, consumers may have an alternative method for achieving high fuel economy with its vehicles.

VW is looking to introduce two variants of its recently introduced Up! rear-engined concept car. The tiny Up! measures just 135.8 inches from nose to tail and is only 64.2 inches wide.

The first variant of the Up! would be a small minivan aimed at families who clearly don't need all of the space afforded in today's super-sized minivans from Chrysler, Honda and Toyota. The second variant on tap is a plug-in hybrid model.

The plug-in variant would ditch the concept Up!'s hatchback profile for a more traditional sedan configuration (which is more in tune with American buying tastes). According to Auto News and Autoblog, the plug-in hybrid Up! would achieve close to 100 MPG.

The Up! minivan is scheduled to be unveiled shortly in Tokyo while the Up! plug-in hybrid will bow in Los Angeles.

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RE: Safety...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 10/2/2007 2:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
what do you think about the government making a law requiring a certain level of fuel efficiency?

RE: Safety...
By Brandon Hill on 10/2/2007 2:41:19 PM , Rating: 3
Or driver/passenger airbags, side curtain air bags, side-impact door beams, stability control, 5-MPH bumpers, tire pressure monitoring systems, etc.

Or helmet laws for that matter.

That being said, I don't envision a law like the one proposed above to ever come into play. Some people need pickups (for towing), minivans (for transporting kids), sports cars (for mid-life crisis's), etc.

RE: Safety...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 10/2/2007 2:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see an efficiency law coming either (not one with any teeth anyway). The safety laws only infringe on your ability to choose for yourself, we pass those "for the children". An efficiency law would cut into to those record oil profits; it would never make it through the "checks and balances" of our current Energy Regime.

RE: Safety...
By Ringold on 10/2/07, Rating: -1
RE: Safety...
By FITCamaro on 10/2/2007 3:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
We also pass safety laws to save lives. Which lowers insurance costs. I already pay plenty for insurance because others in my age group drive like crap and people in my area are drastically under-insured if at all. I'd never seen minimum coverage commercials before I lived in South Carolina.

I can't wait to turn 25. Then to the insurance companies I magically overnight become a better, more responsible driver who's worthy of lower rates that are still higher than women's. Because women drive better than men....

RE: Safety...
By timmiser on 10/3/2007 2:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
Efficiency laws already exist in various forms. The gas guzzeler tax that you pay for when you purchase a low mpg vehicle; requirements that a certain percentage of your vehicle base must include high mileage cars, etc.

RE: Safety...
By clovell on 10/2/2007 2:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'll just have a quarter life crisis - I can't wait for mid-life to get a sports car.

RE: Safety...
By mdogs444 on 10/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Safety...
By mdogs444 on 10/2/2007 4:04:07 PM , Rating: 2
They wont pass an efficiency law. They can pass emissions laws all they want, but not efficiency.

As we determined last week in one of the articles on here....

A person who drives a car that get 30MPG but drives 60 miles per day is still using more gas than the guy who has a car that gets 15MPG and only drives 5 miles per day.

Efficiency is really in the eye of the beholder, and can relate what ever you want it to relate to.

RE: Safety...
By rcsinfo on 10/2/2007 8:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
They won't pass an efficiency law??

Now if you want to make the point that the law is full of loopholes such as classifying SUVs as buses, I won't disagree. But the US government has been regulating fuel efficiency since 1975.

RE: Safety...
By mdogs444 on 10/2/2007 8:19:49 PM , Rating: 2
LOL way too many loopholes. If you really read into it, its not designed to stop manufacturers from producing less fuel efficient cars. Its designed to increase the price of the car, while the government gets a "tax" on it of $5.50 per 0.1 mpg that it misses the cutoff.

Another reason that large motor cars cost more - suvs, american sports cars, etc.

Its really more of a "guideline" than a law, because it doesnt prohibit anyone from now following it.

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