VW Pushes Up Minicar Launch Further Out Because of Design Change

VW is moving the engine from the rear to the front

By Brendan Moore

07.21.2008

Automotive News is reporting this morning that VW has pushed out the launch of their important new minicar, the Up, as a result of their decision to relocate the engine from the rear to the front of the car.

The Up was supposed to launch in 2010 but will now not launch until 2011, bad news for VW since they’re counting on selling around 500,000 of different versions of the new car annually. The Up is a major component of VW’s plans for growth and this delay will put the company considerably behind some of it’s major competitors in the segment.

VW boss Martin Winterkorn told Automotive News the engineers at VW fought hard for the rear-engine layout, but were finally overruled as a result of cost factors.

The Up concept emerged last year (with an exclamation point after the name) as a long-sought-after successor to the original Beetle – an ultra-compact, “people’s car”’ that would be inexpensive, get great fuel economy and put the power down through the rear wheels.

But dreams sometimes have to die, and now VW is saying this one has to die as well because the engineering required is just too expensive.


The VW Up is projected to be sold in Europe, Asia and possibly the U.S.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Like at most car companies, the bean-counters beat the engineers and the designers.

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