2007 Volkswagen Space Up! Blue Concept

November 14, 2007



Volkswagen’s Up! and Space Up! concepts have a triplet sibling — and the new Space Up! Blue concept, shown for the first time at theLos Angeles auto show, promises a cleaner driving experience in a package that hints strongly at VW’s Microbus past.


The hints weren’t just coming from Volkswagen’s video introduction of the concept, which pictured modern-day hippies trying to figure out the Up! Blue’s features. The Space Up! Blue shares the pug-nosed styling of Tokyo ’s Space Up! concept but, when in California , do as the natives do, the credo of the Blue concept seems to be.


Rather than the customary gas-powered four-cylinder or even a diesel, the Up! Blue sports a zero-emission powertrain with a high-temperature fuel cell and lithium-ion batteries. It operates in plug-in mode or in hydrogen-fueled mode; the Up! Blue’s electric motor produces the equivalent of 60 horsepower and a range of 65 miles. With the fuel cell in use, the range goes up to 155 miles; with both, the concept could in theory be driven up to 220 miles on a single charge and tank of hydrogen fuel.


Volkswagen execs say that parking garages and stores could be outfitted with recharging stations to make the concept’s plug-in range practical. And the powertrain isn’t the only source of greener power for the Blue concept: a set of solar panels supply enough energy to keep the cabin ventilated on warm days, a feature found on Mazda vehicles in the past.


A member of Volkswagen’s “New Small Family” of concepts, the Blue concept sits 144.9 inches long and 61.8 inches tall. Overall weight including batteries of this concept is about 2400 pounds.

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