Volkswagen may be a bit late to the electric vehicle game, as far as major global manufacturers go, but it's making up for it quickly. Hot on the heels of the world premiere of its e-Co-Motion electric van concept and the revolutionary XL1 hybrid, the company is introducing its first electric production car – the e-up! – which made its debut at its Annual Press and Investors Conference. The electric up! is a city car that can travel up to 93 miles (150 km) per charge.
Volkswagen has been growing its line of up! city cars for the past several years. The four-seat e-up!, which debuted as a concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, brings a zero-local-emissions presence to the line, and according to Volkswagen, also a "nearly zero noise" presence.
The e-up! is powered by an 81-hp electric motor and 18.7 kWh lithium-ion battery. The motor puts out 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) of torque and sends the car rolling to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 14 seconds. Its top speed is 83 mph (135 km/h). The car doesn't receive the intensive weight savings of the XL1, but it does manage to keep light at 2,612 lbs. (1,185 kg).
In terms of charging, the e-up! will offer an optional Combined Charging System that will allow for charging from both AC and DC sources. Volkswagen has not detailed exactly how long charging will take.
The styling of the e-up! is simple, blending unassumingly with the rest of the up! family. A few changes include the smiley, curved LED daytime running lamps and aerodynamically optimized front-end, sills and underbody. The car rolls on 15-inch alloy wheels. Inside it features light grey seat covers with blue stitching and leather and chrome accents.
The e-up! will make its official auto show debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, and VW will begin taking orders shortly thereafter.