The all-electric Volkswagen e-up! will cost from £19,250, including the £5,000 government plug-in car grant, when it goes on sale 3 December this year, although first deliveries aren’t expected until February 2014.
At that price, the e-up! costs £4,857 more than its biggest rival, a top-spec Renault Zoe. The Nissan Leaf, in range-topping Tekna trim, costs a substantial £6,240 more but comes with far more interior space.
Powered by an electric motor producing around 81bhp and 240Nm of torque, VW claims the e-up! is able to cover up to 93 miles on a single charge. Top speed is 81mph, while the sprint from 0-62mph takes 12.4 seconds. A full recharge takes less than nine hours from a standard household socket.
To help achieve maximum driving range, two eco driving modes are fitted as standard. In Eco mode, the vehicle’s peak power is cut to 67bhp, air conditioning output is reduced and throttle response is modified. Eco+ mode reduces power further to only 54bhp and again adjusts the throttle response, while completely disabling the air conditioning all together. A regenerative braking system, with five modes, also helps to increase range.
Available in only one specification, the only option available to customers on the e-up! is the body colour. Standard equipment is generous, with kit such as air conditioning, heated front seats, DAB radio, cruise control and sat nav all fitted as standard.
UK customers will also be offered an optional charging wall box for their homes, which can completely recharge a flat battery in six hours. The e-up! also comes with a DC fast-charging circuit as standard, able to achieve an 80 per cent charge in 30 minutes.