Volkswagen Canada

Volkswagen Canada

February 11, 2010 10:00 ET

Volkswagen Canadian Premiere in Toronto: Up! Lite-One of the World's Most Fuel-Efficient Four-Seater Cars

Volkswagen's Up! Lite concept consumes just 2.44 l/100 km (70 mpg/highway)

Concept based on the future New Small Family from Volkswagen

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 11, 2010) - Volkswagen – Europe's strongest automotive brand – is setting standards worldwide when it comes to efficiency with its clean high-tech TDI and TSI engines. After a successful world premiere in Los Angeles last December, this is being followed up at the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) (February 12 to 21): the Canadian premiere of the Up! Lite. A progressive, fuel efficient, and cleverly designed four-seater with a full hybrid drive. Combined fuel consumption: 2.44 l/100 km or 70 mpg on the highway! With a drive concept consisting of a TDI (turbo-diesel injection), electric motor, and 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) as well as top aerodynamics (Cd value: 0.237), Volkswagen is driving CO2 emissions down to a sensational 65 g/km. This makes the three-door concept one of the world's most fuel efficient cars – and from the perspective of its overall CO2 footprint, also one of the world's most environmentally friendly four-seater cars. Both technically and visually, the Up! Lite is a preview of the future. The image of the car body with its clean lines, as though sculpted from a block of aluminum, underscores just how fascinating a car tuned to aerodynamic perfection can look.

The Ideal Car for the Daily Commute to Work

The technically challenging 2-litre per 100 km fuel consumption car might be launched globally. Many of the components of the 695 kilogram light Volkswagen are based on those of the future New Small Family, an entirely new model series that is already scheduled for market launch in initial countries at the end of 2011. The Up! Lite concept continues the Volkswagen strategy of offering high-tech and high-end quality in all of its vehicle classes, making progress affordable for every car driver. The Up! Lite was designed to be a versatile vehicle that makes trips into the city, commutes to work, and naturally long trips as well significantly less expensive and more eco-friendly.

Hybrid Drive Enables Pure Electric Driving

The centerpiece of the Up! Lite powertrain is the newly designed 0.8-litre TDI two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with a power of 38 kW / 51 PS. Furthermore, the electric motor (10 kW) – designed as a pulse start module (starter, alternator and E-drive) – also reduces the load of the TDI, provides added propulsion (Boosting) and works to recover kinetic energy (Regenerative Braking). During boost phases – i.e. in a quick passing maneuver – the TDI and E-motor combine for a total power of 48 kW / 65 PS. Incidentally, a version of the TDI used in the Up! Lite was also used aboard the L1 concept car that Volkswagen presented last September at the IAA 2009 Motor Show in Frankfurt.

In two of its operating phases, the hybrid drive of the Up! Lite is designed to operate without any TDI propulsion at all. First phase: In so-called coast-down, activated by the driver taking his or her foot off the fuel pedal, the car coasts and the TDI engine is shut off. Second phase: Over shorter distances, i.e. in residential areas, the E-motor can power the Up! Lite all by itself. In this case, a lithium-ion battery supplies the energy. Since it is capable of pure electric driving, the configuration is classified as a full hybrid. Shifting work is handled by a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). Moreover, the Volkswagen is equipped with a Stop-Start system.

Comfort and Safety without Compromises

Naturally, on the Up! Lite there is nothing lacking in comfort or safety. The integrated traction and stability control Electronic Stabilization Programme (ESP) is on board, airbags are on board, ample space is on board, highly advanced information and control features are on board, and it is good to know that occupants are enclosed and protected by a highly innovative safety frame of aluminum, steel and carbon fibre. The Volkswagen concept has a top speed of 160 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in a respectable 12.5 seconds.

"Made in Germany"

Overall, the Up! Lite is a prime example of the art of innovative engineering with the "Made in Germany" seal. And not only because of its efficient powertrain and lightweight body construction. Other examples include: The radiator grille that closes and opens automatically depending on the cooling needs of the engine ("Active Thermal Management"); and, instead of a traditional rearview mirror, three cameras perform this job better and more aerodynamically; when the car is parked in the summer, hot air is vented to outside the vehicle ("Passive Park Ventilation"); an optimized "Easy-Entry" feature enables comfortable entry and exit from the rear seating area; longitudinal adjustments to the driver and front passenger seats automatically adjusts seat height as well; when folding the rear bench seat, the seatback is easily unlatched by folding the rear head restraints forward ("Easy Switch"); many vehicle features (including ventilation, Internet, telephone, MP3, video, telephone, trip computer, radio) are controlled centrally via an intuitive touchscreen with hand movement sensors.

Design for the World of Tomorrow

Even the most innovative car must look good to really be fun. And the Up! Lite with its "Liquid Blue Metallic" exterior is fun. That is because the 3.84 metre long, 1.40 metre tall and 1.60 metre wide Up! Lite makes a futuristic, bold and – in its form – very independent appearance. It is a car that looks as though it were cast from a single mould. Compared to the E-Up! Concept car presented at the 2009 International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, it is lower in profile and – to satisfy even more demanding aerodynamic requirements – it is longer.

The styling itself portrays a compact vehicle that genuinely reflects its sustainable drive system and overall progressive concept. At the rear, the Up! Lite has the appearance of a distinctive hatchback sports car. As a result, the broad shoulder section is definitely reminiscent of the Scirocco. Furthermore, the look of the lower area is dominated by the large glass surface of the hatch, the LED rear lights and the rear fog lights (C-shaped) integrated in the bumper in typical Up! style. The counterparts of these lights are found in the front bumper as front fog lights. The car's side profile has clean styling with markedly smooth surfaces. There are no edges except for the upper tornado line, the wheel wells, and a connection line integrated there. The side cameras that replace the outside mirrors look like winglets on the wings of a jet plane. A novel stylistic and technical feature: the 18-inch wheels are produced from a combination of aluminum and carbon fibre. Sports appeal and fuel economy do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Already Thinking about Tomorrow Today

By the way: In Europe, Volkswagen is currently demonstrating that minimal fuel consumption can be realized in all segments today, in the latest versions of the Polo (3.3 l/100 km; 58 mpg/high­way), Golf (3.8 l/100 km; 51 mpg/highway), and Passat (4.4 l/100 km; 48 mpg/highway).

TDI + E-Motor + DSG

Powertrain Concept:

Maximum Downsizing – 0.8-litre TDI is Key to Extreme Economy

Newly developed two-cylinder turbo-diesel combined with electric motor

TDI shuts off completely in many operating phases

Toronto, February 2010. The 0.8-litre TDI used in the Up! Lite is one of the most fuel-efficient engines of any four-seat passenger car in the world. The two cylinder engine with a displacement of exactly 800 cm3 drives the front axle, and its technology is based on the new 1.6-litre TDI (four cylinder) that is used in cars such as the Golf and Passat BlueMotion. Incidentally, a version of this 0.8-litre engine was shown in the L1 research vehicle last September at the IAA 2009 auto show in Frankfurt. In the Up! Lite, the quiet common rail engine develops a peak power of 38 kW / 51 PS (at 4,000 rpm). Between 1,800 and 2,250 rpm the 55 kilogram light turbo-diesel direct injection engine delivers 120 Newton-metre (88.5 ft-lbs) maximum torque. Anyone wishing to benefit from the car's full savings potential and attain a combined fuel consumption value of 2.44 litres (70 mpg/highway) will want to press the "Eco" button, activating an operating mode that reduces the engine's power output to 26 kW / 36 PS. The 0.8-litre TDI is coupled to a pulse start module – an electric motor that is integrated on a driveshaft between the TDI engine and the 7-speed DSG.

Since they share a common construction as part of the same engine family, both the 0.8-litre TDI and the 1.6-litre TDI have identical cylinder spacing (88 millimetres), identical bore (79.5 mm), and stroke (80.5 mm). In addition, these TDI engines share important internal engine details for reducing emissions. They include special piston recesses, multiple injection and special tuning of the individual injection jets. In both cases, the technical package includes exhaust gas recirculation, oxidation catalytic converter, and a diesel particulate filter. Both TDIs exhibit especially quiet and low-vibration operation thanks to common rail injection. The aluminum crankcase was also built with a high degree of form precision resulting in very low friction losses.

Moreover, the Volkswagen is equipped with a Stop-Start system. As soon as the Up! Lite is stopped and the brake pedal is applied, the engine automatically shuts off. Just release the brake pedal and the pulse start module puts the TDI back in motion.

Electric Versatility – The Pulse Start Module

The pulse start module of the Up! Lite that is integrated on the driveshaft between the TDI and the gearbox is truly multi-talented as the electronically controlled generator performs several different jobs. Number one: The E-Motor works as a starter for the TDI. Number two: It acts as an alternator to generate electrical power. It is driven by the engine or by storing kinetic energy in Regenerative Braking. Number three: In phases of greater acceleration or to simply handle the approach to a hill, the 10 kW pulse start module boosts the TDI like a classic E-motor with a torque of up to 70 Nm (52 ft-lbs). This results in significantly improved dynamic response. Number four: pure electric driving. A separate power electronics unit manages the high voltage energy flowing from and to the battery and to the E-Motor. Over a distance of up to two kilometres, e.g. in residential areas, the E-Motor can independently propel the Up! Lite emissions-free. To cover longer distances, a larger lithium-ion battery would be required, but this would increase weight and result in fuel consumption higher than 2.44 litres per 100 km.
The fuel tank is also kept very small to reduce weight. Its capacity is only 20 litres. Nonetheless, thanks to the car's low fuel consumption, large ranges of more than 800 kilometres are still attainable.

Coast-Down and Regenerative Braking – Utilizing Kinetic Energy

It is exciting to look at those operating phases of the Up! Lite in which it is driven without load demand – that is, when the driver takes his or her foot off the fuel pedal and lets the front-wheel drive car coast. In this case, the system automatically de-clutches the TDI engine and switches it off to better utilize the vehicle's kinetic energy. The small Volkswagen is now just propelled by its own mass, set into motion beforehand, together with the supporting E-motor. It coasts silently on the asphalt without fuel consumption or emissions. As soon as the driver lightly presses the brake pedal, the E-motor recovers the kinetic energy and stores it in the lithium-ion battery. If the driver presses the brake pedal harder, the Up! Lite is decelerated as usual. The TDI itself does not start up until more power is demanded than the E-motor can deliver; then, as a starter, it immediately puts the TDI back into play.

Clever Navigation System Favours Coasting Phases

From the navigation system with its intuitive touchscreen controls, it is also possible to select the most energy-saving route in "Eco" mode before heading out on a trip. In this mode, the system considers additional parameters such as the topography en route, making it theoretically possible to maximize benefits of coast-down phases based on the time of day and traffic conditions. The fact is: After just a short practice period, the driver is able to adapt his or her driving style by integrating longer coast-down stretches and intuitively releasing the fuel pedal – i.e. when entering towns or on freeway exits.

Body Concept + Dimensions

Systematic Use of Lightweight Construction:

Aluminum and Carbon Fibre Reduce Weight to 695 Kilograms

Aerodynamically perfected design with Cd value of 0.237

Roof made of carbon fibre composite weighs just 3.3 kilograms

Toronto, February 2010. The Up! Lite that Volkswagen is presenting in Toronto is the fifth concept vehicle of a completely new car line – the New Small Family. The Up! (three-door), Space Up! (five-door), Space Up! Blue (five-door with fuel cell), and finally the E-Up! (three-door with E-drive) concept cars form a design language with an unmistakable character and with the contemporary Volks­wagen Design-DNA developed by Walter de Silva. The Up! Lite is the most aerodynamic of all the New Small Family concept cars. Like the E-Up! that was presented in Frankfurt, the version that debuted in Los Angeles and now in Toronto also offers a preview of the production design.

Added Length for Better Aerodynamics

The 3.84 metre long, 1.40 m tall and 1.60 m wide Up! Lite makes a futuristic, bold and – in its form – very independent appearance. Its wheelbase is 2.45 m. Compared to the three-door Up!, it is lower in profile, and to satisfy even higher aerodynamic demands, it is also longer. The frontal area of the narrow concept is conspicuously small, measuring 1.82 m2, and its Cd value is 0.237 (Cd x A = 0.43). The air has little to resist on this Volkswagen. And that has a direct impact in reducing energy consumption.

The aerodynamic body design was streamlined in all areas. For example, all of the windows interface with the body in such a way that they are absolutely flush. Edges and recesses are simply not to be found on this car. Even the radiator air inlet at the front end is only opened when needed to regulate engine temperature ("Active Thermal Management"). Just how uncompromisingly the new Volkswagen's shape was tuned in the wind tunnel is demonstrated by a look toward its outside mirrors: there are none. Instead, there are two side cameras at the tips of small winglets, and a camera at the rear end in the roof edge spoiler that handle this job and transmit their images to the rearview mirror of the future: a central display in the roofliner console (for its mode of operation, see the "Interior Concept + Dimensions" section).

Styling as a Statement on the Future

The styling itself portrays a compact vehicle that genuinely reflects its sustainable drive system and overall progressive concept. Form and function enter into an extraordinary coexistence here.

It is the facets of a high-class design culture that make the Up! Lite, painted in "Liquid Blue Metallic", so extraordinary. At the rear, for example, the concept car has the appearance of a hatchback sports car. As a result, the broad shoulder section is definitely reminiscent of the Scirocco, but also of the L1 concept car presented at the most recent IAA 2009 in Frankfurt. In addition, the look of the lower area is dominated by the large glass surface of the hatch, the LED rear lights and the C-shaped rear fog lights integrated in the bumper in typical Up! style.

The counterparts of these lights are found in the front bumper as front fog lights. Parking and daytime running lights of the unmistakable light housings are presented in LED technology here, too. The sharp lines of the headlights are visually connected via a chrome strip with the Volkswagen logo integrated at its centre. The engine hood is distinctly wide and can be put in a service position from inside the car. It moves several centimetres forward, offering access to the windshield washer fluid, motor oil, and radiator coolant.

The car's side profile also has clean styling with markedly smooth surfaces. There are no edges except for the upper tornado line, the wheel wells, and a connection line integrated there. Recessed in small cut-outs and away from wind blasts, the door handles are styled practically and oriented in the pulling direction. The bands of side windows are narrow, extended and rise toward the rear, as on the Scirocco. However, they exhibit fully independent lines in their rear sections here.

Incorporated into styling of the car's side profile is the design of its alloy wheels. In a potential production version, Volkswagen favors a 16-inch format with low-resistance 155/60 R16 tires. Yet, even larger wheels are conceivable, as demonstrated by the concept car being presented in Toronto; the 18-inch wheels (155/50 R18 tires) used here are made of a lightweight metal and a total of ten carbon fibre spokes.

Pioneering Lightweight Construction

The sensationally low combined fuel consumption of 2.44 l/100 km would not have been feasible without significantly minimizing vehicle weight. Therefore, the Up! Lite design team reviewed practically every component of the study for potential weight savings. And with success, as born out by its curb weight of just 695 kilograms.

The body of the Up! Lite primarily consists of high-strength steel and aluminum. Consider the platform: There is a body frame that is produced from hot-worked and, therefore, very rigid steels. This frame includes the side members, centre tunnel, seat frames, areas of the A-pillars and wheel housings. Components made of lightweight aluminum include the floors in the passenger compartment, the rear floor with spare wheel recess, engine compartment bulkhead, engine compartment, rear wheel housings and front windshield cross member. The front bumper cross member is produced from carbon fibre composite.

The upper section of the body-in-white, the so-called "Hat", is almost entirely made of aluminum. Only the interior components of the B-pillars and roof rail (lateral front) are made of high-strength steel. The exterior covers on the bumpers are made of plastic. A highlight of lightweight construction is the 1.7 square metre roof of the concept car. It is "baked" from an exceptionally stable carbon fibre composite and weighs just 3.3 kilograms. By comparison, the identical panel size in steel would weigh about 9.5 kilograms, and an aluminum roof of this size would come in at a very light 5.1 kilograms. That is why aluminum is the material used in all other components, including the doors, hood, and rear hatch.

Interior Concept + Dimensions

Compact Space Wonder:

2.44 Litre / 100 km Fuel Economy with Space for Four and Lots of Cargo

Intuitive displays replace classic instruments entirely

Interior of the Up! Lite impresses with pure functionality and everyday practicality

Toronto, February 2010. The concept car being presented in at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto offers space for four adults plus luggage in its comfortable interior. The interior height is 985 millimetres in front, and 926 mm in the rear. Even in the rear seating area there is sufficient headroom for passengers up to 1.85 m tall. There is 217 litres of cargo capacity (up to seatback height) in the trunk in its normal configuration with four persons on board. When the rear bench seatback is completely folded down, cargo capacity increases to 847 litres when loaded to ceiling height.

To keep the interior cool on hot days, even while it is parked, the Up! Lite is equipped with a "Passive Park Ventilation" feature. This system exploits the fact that hot air rises. Unlike practically all other cars, the air is not vented in the area of the C-pillars or the wheel housings, but rather by the chimney effect – much higher – directly through an opening between the end of the roof and the roof edge spoiler and tailgate.

Interactive and Intuitive Controls

Instrumentation was reduced to the absolute essentials with carbon-look instruments. The goal here: climb in, buckle up and drive away – without having to study an owner's manual. To the left of the steering wheel are pushbuttons for the lighting, and to the right is the start button for the engine/E-motor, and that is about it. All other information and vehicle functions are accessed intuitively via displays. The reasoning here is clear: Showing information on a display has become commonplace in everyday personal and business life. Increasingly, these display screens are being used to present key information in the automobile. And this is logical, as the presentation can be more easily adapted to people than would be possible using traditional instruments.

In the Up! Lite, three of these displays are used to control nearly all vehicle functions and to display information. A seven-inch monitor serves as a central display in front of the driver. Displayed here are the momentary powertrain states (TDI, E-motor, etc.), vehicle speed (digital display and as a horizontal "banded speedometer"), the currently engaged gear, basics such as clock time, outside temperature, and trip odometer, as well as any warning indicators.

On the centre console, meanwhile, a 5.7-inch touchscreen provides an interface for the climate control system, communication with the outside world (mobile phone) and the infotainment features (MP3, video, Internet). Thanks to a hand movement sensor, user control is also intuitive.

It is even possible to integrate the driver's control of the 7-speed DSG in this concept from an ergonomic perspective. The classic gearshift knob was eliminated in the Up! Lite. Instead, there is a manual control ball that feels like a large computer mouse. The specific gear is simply selected by moving this "mouse" forward or backward. In parallel, the soft upholstered surface of the ball – also with a carbon look – can be used to conveniently and precisely access the touchscreen on the centre console.

The Camera System of the Up! Lite

Instead of the traditional interior rearview mirror and two outside mirrors, the Up! Lite has one rear camera in the roof edge spoiler and two side cameras at the height of the former outside mirrors. Images from the three cameras are transmitted to the car's third display intuitively placed in the driver's visual field in the vicinity of the previous rearview mirror. During highway drives, the rear camera image is shown on the widescreen display with a previously unheard of width/height ratio of 8:3. It captures the entire relevant area behind the vehicle. When the driver activates a turn signal, the image of the camera on the same side as the turn signal light is also shown in the display.

In the city, and for slower drives, the rear camera image is generally shown in the central display together with images from the side cameras. This gives the driver an optimal visual representation of the car's surroundings, and without a blind spot. The same images are shown when driving in reverse. In this case, however, the rear camera image is enlarged, and the images of the side cameras are reduced in size. This display solution is superior to conventional outside mirrors because it offers a comprehensive visual display of the car's surroundings.

Seating Comfort and Variability of a New Dimension

In front, the concept car is equipped with ergonomically perfected bucket seats manufactured in lightweight construction. The entire interior, including the seating system, exhibits a high level of functionality. Access to the rear seats is made easier by such features as a new type of "Easy-Entry" feature in the front seats. Simply pull on a loop at the outer edge of the seat and it slides exceptionally far forward and even tips slightly in the direction of the instrument cluster, creating an opening that is as spacious as for a four-door car.

Another logical solution: The seat height is automatically adjusted in tandem with longitudinal (forward and rearward) adjustments to the driver and front passenger seats. This basic functionality is not new, but the way that it has been implemented here surpasses all previously known systems. It makes separate height adjustment unnecessary. The seat shells of the front seats are designed as a single unit and they are fully adjusted in seat angle. All seats are upholstered with a Titan Black neoprene-like yet breathable fabric. This high-end material – in black and orange – can also be found in the door trim panels and floor areas. Interior accents are in "Piano Paint" and "Galvano Silver".

Rear Seatbacks are Unlatched via Head Restraints

Finally, there are simple, self-explanatory control mechanisms that are a common thread unifying the concept car's interior. The best example: The newly designed unlatching mechanism for folding down the rear seatback. Volkswagen calls this concept "Easy Switch": simply push the head restraints forward and the seatback unlatches. When the seatback is stowed in this way, it produces a level cargo surface with integrated tie-down eyes. This is for certain: it is a Volkswagen that will remain a perfect companion well into the future. Climb in, buckle up, and drive away, just like in the legendary Beetle of an earlier era.


You will find this press release and images of the Up! Lite Concept on the Internet at Registration is required.

TDI, TSI, and DSG are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG or other companies of the Volkswagen Group in Germany and other countries.

All European fuel consumption data is in litre per 100 km per NEDC (New European Driving Cycle).

All American fuel economy data is in mpg in accordance with US labeling.

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