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

Top 10 best first cars for new drivers 2022
Best first cars - header image
First Cars

Top 10 best first cars for new drivers 2022

A new car for first time drivers should be cheap, easy to drive and safe. Here are the 10 best first cars
14 Jan 2022
Top 10 best small cars to buy 2022
Best small cars header
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best small cars to buy 2022

Small cars come in all kinds of shapes, if not sizes. Here we highlight the best new small cars on sale
6 Jan 2022
Cheapest cars to insure in the UK 2022
Cheapest cars to insure - header
Car insurance

Cheapest cars to insure in the UK 2022

Looking for a car that’s cheap to insure? We’ve listed cars with the cheapest insurance group ratings on sale in the UK today
1 Jan 2022
The best 0% finance car deals 2021
Best 0% finance car deals - header
Best cars & vans

The best 0% finance car deals 2021

Tempted by a 0% APR deal? Here are our best 0% finance deals starting from only £145...
21 Oct 2021

Most Popular

'The best car in the world is Korean'
Opinion Mike Rutherford
Opinion

'The best car in the world is Korean'

Mike Rutherford praises Hyundai and Kia's joint win in Best Cars of the Year
16 Jan 2022
Kia EV6 vs Volkswagen ID.4 GTX: 2022 group test review
Kia EV6 vs VW ID.4 GTX - main
Volkswagen ID.4 SUV

Kia EV6 vs Volkswagen ID.4 GTX: 2022 group test review

The Kia EV6 and Volkswagen ID.4 GTX deliver sportiness to the electric SUV sector - but which does it best?
15 Jan 2022
Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
2 Jan 2022