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Volkswagen's Small-Car Revival

Volkswagen veered off track in the 1990s with expensive, upmarket models. Now it’s steering back to its roots: Small cars at more pleasing prices. The “Up” is the first of VW’s “New Small Family” of cars. The four-seater with a glass hatch will be developed in two versions, one as a lifestyle car for city driving which will challenge Mercedes’ Smart or Fiat’s new remake of the 500, and a simpler, cheaper version for emerging markets.

The first Up model, due to hit the market in 2009, whill sip only 3.5 liters per 100 kilometers (67 mpg), and future models will slash that to below 3 liters/100km (81.1 mpg). Move over Prius, VW is on the up.

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