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Revealed: 2012 Volkswagen Up!

Volkswagen has just revealed details online of their upcoming Up! subcompact ahead of the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Volkswagen has just unveiled online the production version of their Up! Concept ahead of this year's Frankfurt Auto Show, four years after it was first shown as a concept at the same event. For those who are unfamiliar with it, the Up! (that's not a typo) is the German automaker's new entry-level model that's set to replace the Fox. It will fill the slot below the Polo with its main competition being the Citroen C1, Fiat Panda, and the Renault Twingo. As of now, Volkswagen doesn't have any plans to import the new subcompact to North America.

The Up! is built off of VW's new MQB platform, which is a modular structure that will be used to also underpin the next generation Polo, Golf, and the European market Passat. Power will solely come from a turbocharged 1.0-liter TSI three-cylinder gasoline engine, however, it will have two tuning options. The base model has 59hp that will supposedly return 56 mpg (combined European cycle) and a sportier version will have 74hp and is rated at 54.6 mpg. As of now, there is (strangely) no diesel option. In place of one, VW will offer a 68hp version of the same engine that's capable of running on natural gas.

Transmission choices will include a standard five-speed manual or a new six-speed clutchless gearbox. The automaker has also confirmed a plug-in electric version in the near future that, if it's anything like the Up! E-Motion concept from the 2009 Frankfurt show, it will have a combined driveline of an 81hp electric motor with an 18 kWh lithium-ion battery. The Up! will be built at the VW plant in Slovakia which also builds the Touareg, the Audi Q7, an the Porsche Cayenne. It will go on sale throughout Europe beginning this December as a three-door. A five-door version will follow in the second half of 2012.

Pricing has not been announced yet, but Volkswagen will have more details when the Up! has its official live public debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show beginning on September 13th.

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