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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 Hoser McMoose on 10/3/2007 7:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Extra weight does NOT make a car safe, smart engineering DOES!

There are MANY 4000+ pound SUVs with extraordinarily poor safety records. The Chevy Blazer 2-door/2WD model, which weighed in at 4450 lbs gross weight, had the unenviable distinction of being the LEAST safe 4-wheeled vehicle in for the 2003 and 2004 model year (latest figures I've seen). At 232 driver fatalities per 100 million miles driven it was more than 3 times as bad as the national average of 79 fatalities per 100M miles.

Pick-up trucks generally do even worse, there are VERY few 4000+ pickup trucks that can match the safety record of a Toyota Echo or MINI Cooper. The Echo managed an above-average 70 driver fatalities per 100M miles driven, the Cooper was slightly better at 68 fatalities. Meanwhile Ford F250 4WD drivers suffered fatalities at a rate of 122 per 100M miles.

Source:
http://www.iihs.org/sr/pdfs/sr4204.pdf


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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