New electric Volkswagen e-up! with 'extended range' confirmed for Frankfurt Motor Show

VW plotting group-wide electric city car revolution which could see petrol powered A-segment cars culled altogether

A to Z guide to electric cars - VW e-up!

Volkswagen will reveal a freshly re-engineered e-up! city car with additional electric range at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Speaking with Auto Express, sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann explained the significance of the show for the Volkswagen brand, and in particular, the company's electric ambitions. 

Volkswagen planning rugged electric Land Rover Defender rival

"Everything comes together - everything we have worked on for almost three years. New brand design, a very fresh approach to our style". 

Volkswagen will introduce the production version of the Golf sized ID. hatchback at the Frankfurt show, while Stackmann also promised we'll get to see a "hint" of the car to follow it: the finished version of the ID. Crozz SUV. However, when asked about sub-C segment electric vehicles, the Volkswagen executive explained that the brand's immediate plan is to bring the e-up! electric city car back into the fold. 

“The market below will be captured by a fabulous e-up! with an extended range that will be shown to you at Frankfurt as well," said Stackmann. 

Volkswagen plans to produce a Polo sized electric supermini using the MEB platform, possibly priced from around £20,000, but battery costs mean it is unlikely to surface as a production model until 2023 at the earliest. As such the updated e-up! will have to occupy a sizable hole in Volkswagen's electric line-up, so  a decent upgrade over the 99 mile range of the old e-up! could be on the cards.

Rising costs and new emissions legislation could force VW into axing the regular up! city car and offer it as an electric vehicle only. A longer-range version of the e-up! supports this.

The future of the up! has been hanging in the balance for some time, but at the Geneva Motor Show back in March Stackmann revealed to Auto Express that new regulations will make it impossible to justify a business case for a new, conventionally powered city car.

Geneva Motor Show 2019

“We are working to give a second life to the e-up! - it has big role to play in the next three to four year,” Stackmann told us. “In the long term the big question mark is if the legal system is pursuing and implementing the legal regulations they have just confirmed there is not a single business case for the cars the size of the up! – its just not possible.”

The up! is built alongside its sister vehicles, the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo, which will also get electric variants in the near future. But the project is said to have fallen short of VW’s own internal profit targets. Given the increased cost the project would pass on to SEAT and Skoda with VW’s withdrawal it’s unlikely that a successor to the Mii and Citigo will be developed, although that remains unconfirmed.

Stackmann added: “The cars are too small to carry high technology and a normal combustion engine is just impossible to reach the required CO2 levels. So in theory you’d have to sell an electric car to compensate for the problem of a [conventional] up! where the margin is already thin. We are focusing on the e-up! going forwards.”

However, the e-up! will not become part of VW’s new ID. range of electric vehicles, Stackman told us. As the car is not able to switch to the new MEB platform it will sit as VW’s entry point to EV ownership.

What do you think VW should do with the up!? Let us know in the comments...

Recommended

Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022
Geneva Motor Show
News

Geneva Motor Show to launch Qatar exhibition in 2022

Geneva Motor Show heads to the middle east with a spin-off event planned in Doha every two years from 2022 or 2023
25 Aug 2021
Best used small cars 2021
Best used small cars
Best cars & vans

Best used small cars 2021

Our guide to the best used small cars for 2021, covering the top second hand city cars and superminis
18 Aug 2021
New Koenigsegg Gemera is a four-seat, 1,700bhp, £1.4m hypercar
Koenigsegg Gemera
Koenigsegg Gemera

New Koenigsegg Gemera is a four-seat, 1,700bhp, £1.4m hypercar

The limited-edition Koenigsegg Gemera is a rival for the McLaren GT, but with almost three times as much power
17 Aug 2021
Volkswagen up! review
Volkswagen up! - front
Volkswagen up

Volkswagen up! review

The VW up! has been at the top of the city car class for a decade, and it’s still going strong
20 Jul 2021

Most Popular

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021
New Toyota RAV4 Adventure heads up 2022 model refresh
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
News

New Toyota RAV4 Adventure heads up 2022 model refresh

The rugged Toyota RAV4 Adventure targets lifestyle buyers with a tough-looking new front bumper and interior tweaks
14 Sep 2021
E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?
Petrol pump
News

E10 petrol explained: UK prices, checker tool and is it OK for your car?

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and is available at UK fuel stations now as part of the bid to cut CO2 emissions
1 Sep 2021