October 24, 2007 Volkswagen will use this week's Tokyo Motor Show as the platform to launch its new Space Up! Concept. Following on from the launch of the two-door urban Up! at the IAA in Frankfurt six weeks ago, the company is expanding its "New Small Family" with the Space Up! – a small van designed to provide the interior space of a larger vehicle despite its relatively small 3.68 x 1.63 meter dimensions. Between 220 and 1,005 liters of cargo space are made available (depending on how many of the four multi-variable seat positions are used) through the use of rear mounted engine and powertrain reminiscent of the Beetle and the Kombi.
Twenty-three centimeters longer and four centimeters higher than the up!, the Space up! has four doors with two more replacing the traditional rear-tailgate. Inside there is between 220 and 1,005 liters of cargo space depending on how many of the four multi-variable seat positions are used.
The design philosophy also follows the up! with straight-lined, simple shapes that aim to omit any superfluous gimmicks. The font end retains the Volkswagen "happy face" with the headlamps extending far into the fender in an inward diagonal line above the smooth-surfaced bumper and the VW logo arranged on the front hood.
Both the front and rear doors open in opposition and extend across nearly the entire space between the wheel housings to make seating positions or cargo bay easy to access. Short overhang at both ends helps maintain the crisp proportions of the Space Up! and in the rear, the 1/3 to 2/3 split doors take up almost all of the rear area of the vehicle above the bumper delivering an access width of 101 centimeters.
Inside, the four seater incorporates a bench with two integrated child seats that easily convert to adult seats. The cushions of the four seats - for driver, front and rear passengers - consist of airflow foam that automatically adapts to individual body sizes and all seats (apart form the driver's) can also be folded and removed.
Two central displays are featured - an 8-inch monitor displays information such as vehicle speed, fuel level and range as well as CO² emissions and an additional 7-inch touch screen monitor that can also be controlled through gestures and specific hand movements is also included with designers emphasizing intuitive control of secondary systems such as navigation, telephone, radio and Internet.
No definite details as yet on when a production models may appear but development is already underway according to Volkswagen.