X
News

VW Up Blue-e-motion review

  • Electric Volkswagen Up driven
  • Priced from 14,000 (est)
  • On sale 2014
Words By

Need a valuation?

Obtain a FREE used car valuation for any vehicle.

GB

An article image
An article image

The VW Up Blue-e-motion or e-Up, as VW abbreviates it is a fully electric version of the award-winning Up city car.

Planned for UK launch in 2014, the Up Blue-e-motion is intended to compete with the imminent Renault Zoe and other electric superminis that will no doubt be on the way by then.

The e-Up has an 81bhp electric motor that can deliver 155lb ft of torque as soon as you floor the accelerator from rest, and a lithium-ion battery pack slim enough to be housed under the floor.

The car with battery pack weighs around 1160kg, which is about 200kg more than a standard, petrol-fuelled Up.

What's it like to drive? Lively. Like many electric cars, the e-Up has a lively step-off from rest, and continues accelerating with verve at urban speeds, although the gusto fades a bit on the open road.

Top speed is limited to 81mph, while 0-62mph is reached in less than 14 seconds.

There's just one forward gear, which is selected on this prototype car by an automatic transmission-type lever. Pull the lever back against a spring from the normal Drive position and you'll enter the regenerative braking mode, which means the e-Up slows vigorously as soon as you lift the accelerator.

This helps recharge the battery, but you might prefer the regular mode, which just lets the e-Up freewheel when you lift off.

The e-Up is quiet, even in this prototype form. An occasional distant whine is the only noise the engine and gearbox ever make.

What's it like inside? Just like a normal Up apart from a power consumption/recharge meter and remaining-charge gauge in place of the rev counter and fuel gauge.

Interior- and boot space are exactly the same as in conventional Ups, thanks to the battery's underfloor positioning. There's a little less ground clearance, but still enough.

Should I buy one? The big question concerns the range on a full 5.5-hour charge. Volkswagen reckons just over 90 miles when it's warm outside, which is comparable with current electric cars, and enough to make the e-Up a practical short-distance commuter car.

Prices are yet to be determined; the eventual figure will be a 'political' one to ensure the e-Up is competitive rather than immediately profitable. It will be the most expensive Up, but not by much. We think 14,000 would be a good estimate.

For now, we know it works and works very well.

Rivals
Nissan Leaf
Renault Zoe

What Car? says...

John Simister

See also
VW Up 5dr review
VW GT Up review