VW City Expert Coming to Frankfurt This Fall

By Chris Haak

08.02.2007

Volkswagen is set to unveil a new mini car at the Frankfurt Auto Show this fall called the City Expert. The car is primarily designed for emerging markets, and will be designed to be low-cost, low-weight, and simple to manufacture.

VW has not released any teaser images of the new car, but on paper, it sounds a lot more like a true successor to the original VW Beetle than the current New Beetle has been, primarily because it will be rear engined and driven by (at most) a three-cylinder engine. Some developing markets will get only two-cylinder versions, while a one-cylinder version (which likely sounds like a lawn tractor) is also under consideration.

Because of cost constraints (and thanks to the vehicle’s low weight), power steering will not be available. The City Expert will likely include both front and rear cargo areas (only the air conditioning unit, radiator, and battery are in front of the driver).

VW is uncertain as to whether the City Expert will be sold in North America; no doubt, they are closely watching the Smart ForTwo’s US launch in early 2008 (more information here and here on the Smart ForTwo) to see how that similarly-configured car fares in the US before making a decision. The City Expert is, however, expected to be sold in Western Europe, and I’m guessing if the styling and pricing are right, could prove to be a formidable competitor to the Dacia Logan, discussed extensively here.

I can’t wait to see this car, although I don’t expect it to look anything like the Beetle. Now, if only Volkswagen could do something about the name, which sounds ridiculous to me.

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Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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6 Comments

  1. I’ve seen the mockup of this car, and it’s pretty attractive. I’d like to see it for real since I am a VW nut and I’m also looking for another car next year.

  2. Cool, 1984GTI…do you have a link you can share, or was it some kind of internal confidential document you saw? I’d love to see it, even disguised, to get an idea of the proportions.

  3. I think I saw it in Automobile magazine so it wasn’t in a digital format.

  4. Everyone’s getting an urban car ready for production since everyone believes fuel costs are going up. Some consumers think gas will go back to $2 a gallon but none of the car companies think that.

  5. It would be great to see more of these city cars for sales in the U.S. Cars like this and the Smart Car and the small Japanese cars would all be great for city residents who still need a car.

  6. I live in Houston (Texas, y’all) and a city car here is a single-cab pickup. Family vehicles are full-size SUV’s and full-size crew-cab pickups. Driving something like a Smart or this proposed VW is inviting death, since the people in those large trucks in Houston drive everywhere fast and they’re aggressive drivers in general. A car like this might work in Madrid or Rome (yes, I’ve been to both even though I live in TX), but it would be very dangerous to drive in Houston. Or Dallas. Or almost anywhere else in Texas.

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