VW, Seat and Skoda confirm new supermini family

Published: 22 April 2009

The Volkswagen Group has announced that it will put its range of Up concept cars into production in 2011.

What about some Seat and Skoda versions of the VW Up too?

You’re getting ahead of us. As well as VW models, there will indeed be Seat and Skoda versions and all the cars will be built in three- and five-door form at Volkswagen’s Bratislava plant in Slovakia. There’s no official name for the cars yet, but within the Volkswagen Group they are known as ‘New Small Family’.

‘Our team at Volkswagen in Slovakia is ideally prepared to provide the flexibility required for the production of the New Small Family,’ said Volkswagen chairman Dr Martin Winterkorn. ‘Four brands are already produced successfully under one roof at our plant in Bratislava today.’ The VW Group will invest €308m in its Bratislava plant, which will help safeguard 1500 jobs at the site.

Will the cars still be rear-engined and rear-wheel drive?

We’re afraid not. CAR scooped the switch back in 2008 and the change to a front-engine, front-wheel drive layout is the reason production has been delayed to 2011 – we saw the first Up concept in 2007. It’s thought the conventional layout will save the VW Group a total of £600m.

Thankfully VW is working hard to make sure the production cars remain similar in style to the concept vehicles – the nose is expected to be raised and stretched by 50mm, but we’re promised little else will change.

The front-engine layout will also increase the kerbweight (from 800 to 830kg), but boot space will increase from 180 to 200 litres. All versions will have a 35-litre fuel tank and 14-inch wheels. Diesel power will come from a 1.2-litre with 75bhp and 135lb ft, though it’s still not known whether petrol power will come from a bespoke 1.0-litre engine or the existing 1.2. Prices in Europe should start around £6500 for the Seat and Skoda versions.

>> Excited about the Volkswagen Group’s New Small Family, or would you rather stick with a Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 or Peugeot 107? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say.