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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 Kougar on 10/3/2007 3:54:59 AM , Rating: 2
How about you experience a Dodge Ram pickup plowing into the back of your car while you're making a ~10mph right-turn off a roadway, before you spout random nonsense. Foam bumpers do squat when the truck (or SUV) impacts the vehicle above your giant foam bumper. In my case it didn't matter anyway, he took it out along with the entire back end of my car.

The Dodge Ram pickup compacted the entire trunk against the back seat of the vehicle, foam bumper and all. The pickup only got away with a buffed up front end, but the Somerset had three tires blown out with the trunk solidly compressed against the rear wheels/axle, enough to lock both rear wheels in place and blow them out. It left me comletely turned around to face oncoming traffic head on but thankfully inside the parking lot I was turning into.

The Somerset is not remotely a small car in comparison to this thing or a Mini Cooper. That crash was on a 35mph road with moderate traffic using three lanes, it should never of happened. Airbags will not help if you are run over, especially the kind of truck/SUV that drives on oversized tires which would plow over this thing or a Mini Cooper alike. At least you won't live long enough to worry if the idiot had insurance.

RE: Safety...
By Misty Dingos on 10/3/2007 3:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
It is clear to me that you have no grasp of the concept of humor. Let me explain.

When I mentioned the use of "giant foam bumpers" it was a type of humor. Specifically sarcasm. I have found that using this punctuation (!) at the end of sentence indicates that sarcasm is being used. I am going to start using that as sarcasm is difficult to translate cross culturally. Shakespeare used it a lot and it worked for him but I am not that skilled a communicator. So I will just use the useful clues here and there.

Using giant foam bumpers large enough to actually be functional would be so large and so unwieldy that the car could not move them. So for you to take my comments literally is not useful nor will you benefit from the humorous aspect of the post.

Thus deprived of the humor in my post your day is not as bright and cheerful as it could have been. In fact it is likely the opposite, you likely said things about that twit that could make such a ludicrous comment. Probably something like this. “I nearly got killed and he is making jokes!”

But it was never my intent to minimize the danger of an auto accident. Been in a couple myself. I have never had a Dodge Ram make an impression on me like the one made on you. And I am happy to hear that you are recovered. I note though you blame the driver of the truck and not the vehicle itself. This is important an important distinction. Some people do indeed blame the vehicle and not the driver.

One other thing, if you had been struck by a smaller vehicle the result would likely have been very similar. How much damage the other vehicle suffered is probably not apparent to you as you were, rightly, concerned more with your own vehicle. From the amount of damage your car suffered I can not imagine the other vehicle combatant emerging from the fray as unscathed as you describe. It is either that or you car was made from something akin to aluminum foil.

There has not been to my knowledge at least an SUV that has gone out hunting people to maim or kill. SUVs don’t have a hidden agenda of depopulating the planet. They are just cars. You want to drive one, go right ahead. Just use your seat belt (because it is a good idea not because it is a law) and don’t drink and drive.

RE: Safety...
By Kougar on 10/5/2007 2:35:58 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the interesting reply. I do have a solid grasp of humor (or so I would like to think), however I will confess I have a problem of detecting it in online text without any cues. I will keep an eye peeled for said exclamation points in the future, but they don't specificly denote anything of the like to me.

I don't have anything against large vehicles, I would be driving the largest extended cab 4-door Silverado pickup if it was more in my price range. As you pointed out I do tend to take issue with a great many drivers though, holding a salad or a bowl of lunch in one hand and a fork in the other hand and driving with an elbow or knee is not something I can laugh about seeing people doing.

I was not exaggerating about the pickup though, as to his credit he at least turned around and came back to the scene. It scratched up his front bumper, and left one the corner of the bumper slightly hanging off the vehicle since he impacted at an angle to the rear of the car, and his grill and front end didn't impact the car at all. Just about all the force was transferred to/from the frame of his truck instead of the body work. My sister and I were wearing seat belts thank god, but the impact did cleanly snap the back of my drivers seat so it couldn't even stand upright.

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