Volkswagen up! concepts, 2012 Geneva Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
It's small, green, clever, does 56 miles per gallon, and is entirely unavailable in the U.S. That's unsurprising, given that it's even smaller than Volkswagen's own Polo, the Fiesta-sized subcompact also denied to U.S. buyers.
VW is rightly proud of the car though, and following the four concepts it showed us at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, it's revealing another four concepts at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, starting Tuesday.
If desecration of the English language is a pet hate of yours, then look away now. The four concepts, known as swiss up!, winter up! x up! and cargo up!, all offer the driver something different depending on their hobby or job of choice.
Nobody really knows what the Swiss Army does, or if they even exist, but everyone is familiar with the little red multi-tools they supposedly carry, and the swiss up! applies the color scheme to a car, in honour of the Geneva show. Red and white is the theme, and each seat back has a leather band to store one of the famous knives.
A development of the cross up! concept shown at Frankfurt, the winter up! is all set for the slopes. It uses a raised ride height and underbody protection, and a differential lock to improve traction on poor surfaces. No four-wheel drive though, so it probably wouldn't handle serious off-roading...
Also based on Frankfurt's cross up! concept, the x up! is instead aimed at night-time expeditions, and includes a roof box with search lights. Burnt orange is the color theme, similar to the buggy up! concept also seen at Frankfurt.
Last, but not least, the cargo up! It can handle a 940-pound payload, and like the winter up! it gets under-body protection, this time to deal with pot-holed city streets. Though it remains five-door, the rear seats have disappeared to make way for a level cargo area and a Plexiglas panel keeps the cargo separate from the driver.
We'll be reporting from the show floor in Geneva, so expect to see some live photos of Volkswagen's up! concepts, as well as other green vehicles at the show.