Exclusive: Volkswagen Up ends production after 12 years

Volkswagen up!

The Volkswagen Up first went on sale 12 years ago

Tiny city car bows out, making the Volkswagen Polo supermini the firm’s new entry point

The Volkswagen Up has been phased out of production, 12 years after it launched, leaving the Polo as the smallest model in the German firm’s line-up. 

Autocar can reveal that the VW Group’s factory in Bratislava, Slovakia has produced the final example of the diminutive city car, which remains available from dealer stock in the UK. 

The Up first went on sale in 2011 as the successor to the Volkswagen Fox. It was one of the cheapest cars on sale, with a price tag of £8256, although its starting price later increased to more than £15,000.  

It has been offered with a variety of powertrains over its 12-year production run. Back at launch, it could be selected with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine producing either 59bhp or 74bhp. A facelift in 2016 brought more power with the introduction of a turbocharged variant producing 89bhp. 

The electric Volkswagen e-Up was introduced in 2014 with an 18.7kWh battery and a claimed 161 miles of range. A larger 32.2kWh battery was offered from 2019, which boosted range to 161 miles, surpassing newer rivals such as the Mini Electric and Honda E

The decision to axe the tiny Up comes nine months after the retirement of the hot Volkswagen Up GTI from sale. The GTI arrived in 2018 with 113bhp, a sportier design and a six-speed manual gearbox. 

It was removed from sale in January this year. Volkswagen claimed this was a temporary move, due to demand outstripping supply, but it was never put back on sale. 

The Up was part of the Volkswagen Group’s New Small Family (NSF) vehicle series; the Seat Mii was on sale until 2020 and the Skoda Citigo until 2021. 

The Volkswagen Polo is now the smallest car that Wolfsburg offers in the UK. Last year, though, CEO Thomas Schäfer hinted that the Polo could be removed from the line-up in the coming years, due to Euro 7 regulations, eventually being replaced by a small electric offering in the form of the ID 2.

The Up will be more directly replaced by an ultra-compact electric city car known as the Volkswagen ID 1, which is set to arrive in dealerships within the next five years and be priced from less than £17,000.

Source: Autocar

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