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VW’ city-centric ‘up!’ gets bigger engine, new colors, Beats Audio

Volkswagen has announced it will travel to the Geneva Auto Show to introduce the updated up! We’re not that excited; that’s really how Volkswagen spells the name of its smallest model.

Staying true to tradition, the Up receives visual updates that are almost unnoticeable at first glance. A closer look reveals the five-year-old city car gets a new front bumper with C-shaped trim and a bigger air vent, redesigned headlights that incorporate LED daytime running lights, bigger mirrors, and a restyled rear bumper. Volkswagen has also added new paint colors and additional alloy wheel designs.

The story is the same in the cabin, where the biggest modifications are the addition of convenience features such as a multifunction steering wheel, automatic air conditioning, and smartphone integration. Also noteworthy is the launch of a 300-watt sound system designed for the Up by Beats Audio.

The big news under the hood is that the Up is now available with a turbocharged 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine. Borrowed from the Euro-spec Golf, the triple sends 89 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels via a manual transmission. It allows the city car to reach 62 mph from a stop in 10 seconds flat — over three seconds faster than before — and go on to a top speed of 115 mph. The naturally aspirated, 74-horsepower 1.0-liter three-cylinder remains available, and an all-electric model is also part of the lineup. Notably, the Up isn’t offered with a TDI turbodiesel engine due to a general lack of demand.

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The updated Volkswagen Up will begin to arrive in European showrooms in the next few months, but it still hasn’t been earmarked for the United States market due to its tiny size. The SEAT Mii and the Škoda Citigo, a pair of city cars that are based on the Up, will undergo similar mid-cycle updates before the end of the year.