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The innovative Volkswagen up! concept was honoured at the prestigious Autocar Awards last night, winning the highly competitive Concept Car of the Year category.
In presenting the award, Charles Hallett, Editor of Autocar, commented: ‘It’s a brilliant concept car – but, importantly, a concept car that will become a reality. We like to think of it as a 21st Century Beetle – a stylish car that will provide affordable motoring for all, both here and in the developing world.’
Accepting the award was Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Research and Development at the Volkswagen Group. Dr Hackenberg commented: ‘This award is a great honour and one that comes at an exciting time for us. The reaction to the up! family of vehicles since they were revealed has been tremendous – the next step is to make them a reality.’
The up! concept was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this year before being joined by the versatile space up! concept which made its debut at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. Completing the up! family will be a third highly innovative concept which is set to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show later this week.
Despite its modest dimensions the up! features space for four adults as well as two cargo areas – one in the nose and one just above the rear-mounted engine. The Autocar judges also praised Volkswagen’s willingness to replace the traditional transverse front-wheel drive layout with a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive system.
Development of production versions of the up! family of vehicles is underway with the aim of bringing a road-going version to the market before the end of the decade.