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report in Autocar. That will give the automaker a 14-year lock on the design while it decides whether to move forward with a reboot of its past.

A patent doesn’t mean the Up Buggy will ever move beyond the sheet-of-paper stage, but Autocar says VW is studying the market to see if a production version is feasible. We can’t see North America ever getting it, but even so, we wouldn’t complain if they made it – especially if they put an exposed engine in back that was set off by 18-inch-long twin tailpipes jutting straight up into the air. However, for a company that aims to be the world’s number-one automaker by 2018, a niche vehicle for its mass-market brand would be a surprising use of resources.

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Volkswagen Cross Up! revealed at 2013 Geneva Motor Show - front three-quarter view, red

If you thought there was nothing wrong with the Cross Up!, and its wheel arches and rocker panels are full of the black plastic cladding you’ve been yearning for.

In addition to the “particularly rugged design and tough, lifestyle qualities” that the cladding exudes, VeeDub has also seen fit to put its Cross Up! on a new set of 16-inch alloy wheels clad in 185/50-series tires. Inside, there are new kick plates to go along with a dash pad that can be had in red, black or silver.

All that cladding must equal additional off-road readiness, right? Well, sure… just so long as you’re fine with the same 75-horsepower three-cylinder engine that all other Up! models also feature, along with a five-speed manual transmission sending power to the front wheels, again, just like all other Up! models. The Cross Up! appears to have a taller ride height than other models, but we haven’t been able to find out what – if any – changes have been made.

Sales begin in mainland Europe this summer, and the car may make it to the UK at some point. Don’t expect to see the machine traversing the Rubicon Trail here in the States, though. And with that, we hope you’ll join us in the rugged outdoor confines of your local mall’s parking garage. But first, scroll down Comments

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Even though we’ve finally gotten a look at the Up! minicar (shown above).

A potential Up! Hybrid would likely be able to return some of the same impressive fuel economy numbers as the XL1, but it would be a more realistic car with more passenger space and greater production capacity. The hand-built XL1 will use a 47-horsepower, two-cylinder TDI engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the 27-hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery helps deliver an all-electric driving range of 31 miles.

One of the core pillars of the XL1’s design is its lightweight construction with a 1752-pound curb weight, which makes the Up! a perfect recipient for using this powertrain since it weighs just 300 pounds more. The report says that the Up! Hybrid is still in the developmental phase, so a production version isn’t expected for at least another 18 months.

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2013 Volkswagen Cross Up!  - front three-quarter view in city setting

The last time we saw the CrossTouran) when it goes on sale this summer in mainland Europe (UK sales remain up in the air and US sales are highly unlikely).

Overall, the styling of the production Cross Up! has stayed fairly true to the 2011 concept car, including the front and rear fascias that offer a more rugged look, stocky 16-inch wheels and roof rack side rails. Inside, this model will get unique interior enhancements such as “Cross Up!” sill plates and an instrument panel available in red, black or silver. Like the regular Up!, the Cross Up! is powered by a 74-horsepower, 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine paired to a five-speed manual transmission, and it doesn’t look like all-wheel drive will be part of the picture. For more details on the upcoming Cross Up!, check out VW’s press release posted Comments

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More detail is being sketched into the Suzuki effectively out of the partnership picture, a report in Reuters suggests VW could go straight to China, developing a car with its joint venture partners and building and selling it there.

Officially, company CEO Martin Winterkorn said the issue of a model for emerging markets would be decided this year but VW isn’t any closer to confirming any kind of plan for a car in its portfolio underneath the Up!, remarking to Reuters about the China possibility, “That’s an issue we’re currently looking at.”

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World Record Parallel Parking

It looks as if Volkswagen Up! into a space of just 12 feet and 0.88 inches. Given that the three-door Up! takes up a full 11 feet and 7.37 inches of space itself, the remaining room front and rear was less than the length of a Bic pen. The margin makes the Mini effort seem down right spacious by comparison. Ronny C’ Rock, as the stuntman is also known, pulled off the feat at Flugplatz Kindel in Eisenach, Germany.

Earlier this year, Mini held a promotional event in Comments

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Volkswagen

When it was Carlos Ghosn wants to increase that figure to 250,000 units by 2014. Even then, that would mark just a fraction of that market’s exploding growth. Renault-Nissan also has its successful Dacia brand in emerging markets as well as Europe.

Up costs €9,975.

The major considerations are what to call it and how to build it. It would be tough for VW to stick to that price point and its current brand values, so it needs to figure out whether it should call such a line something else entirely or try and expand the customer perceptions of what “Volkswagen” means. After that, the automaker would need to determine whether any current factories and tooling could be repurposed, or if the cost involves building new operations. Unlike the acquisition of a new brand, however, the plan for a cheap car has the support of the head of the labor board, who told Der Spiegel “For emerging markets we need a car cheaper than the VW Up.”

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