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What is it? You may remember the Volkswagen Up concept. It wowed everyone at the Frankfurt motor show almost four years ago and previewed the company's idea of a budget city car.

It was rear engined, rear-wheel drive and was set to have a seriously low £4000 price. Subsequent concepts also hinted at an MPV and electrically powered versions, too.

Scroll forward and we've just driven the final production car. Plenty has changed in the process, not least because it's now a far more conventional format. It's front engined and front-wheel-drive like all of its immediate rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and forthcoming new Fiat Panda. Starting at £8000 it's also now got a price tag to match them .

The new Up is an all-new car from the ground up though. It sits on a new platform and at first will be sold with two new three-cylinder petrol engines, one with 59bhp, the other 74bhp.

Both have a five-speed manual gearbox and an optional dual-clutch auto will be available soon after the car goes on sale in January 2012.

The Up will be one of the smallest city cars on the market. At 3.5 metres long, 1.6m wide and 1.5m high it closely mirrors the scale of the Fiat 500 yet promises superior interior space for four adults.

http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/volkswagen-up-review/258891
 
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