Volkswagen ID 1 Tech R&D boss on Up successor

Volkswagen ID 1 Tech R&D boss on Up successor

Exciting Developments: Volkswagen Up's Electrifying Return in 2026

Volkswagen's Thrilling Entry into the Electric City Car Scene

Prepare for the return of an automotive legend – the much-anticipated comeback of the Volkswagen Up is set to electrify the streets in 2026. Adding to the excitement is the brand-new entry-level electric city car, known as the ID 1, designed to capture the spirit of the iconic Up and possibly even adopting its name upon its arrival.

Revolutionizing City Driving: The ID 1 and the Up Legacy

The confirmation of Volkswagen's plans for a new entry-level EV came to light last year with the unveiling of the slightly larger ID 2all concept. The production of this electric marvel, set to replace the venerable Up that recently concluded its successful 12-year run, is well underway.

According to Kai Grünitz, Volkswagen's technical development boss, the ID 1 will serve as a natural successor to the Up, sharing design elements and attributes. Grünitz emphasized, «The ‘ID 1’ will be close to the Up regarding the usage of that car,» hinting at a city-friendly vehicle that seamlessly integrates with Volkswagen's brand design DNA at a more affordable price point.

While the return of the Up badge remains unconfirmed, the significance of Volkswagen's long-running and successful names suggests a high possibility. The brand's commitment to retaining names like Golf, Tiguan, and Passat in the electric era indicates a potential retirement of the numerical naming strategy for its ID cars.

A Glimpse into the Future: Design Sketches and Development Underway

Revealing that design sketches are complete and development is in progress, Grünitz hinted at an unveiling «several years before the end of this decade.» The upcoming EV, built on a bespoke platform distinct from the ID 2’s MEB Entry architecture, will prioritize strict cost-cutting measures. This focus on affordability means it won't feature advanced autonomy and connectivity functions found in pricier VW models.

Grünitz clarified, «You need a car that really fits the customer demands in that price class. You don’t need high-end technology within these cars.» Instead, the emphasis will be on maximizing interior space, offering innovative storage solutions, and tailoring the vehicle to the needs of its target customer group.

A City Car for the People: Practicality Over High-End Tech

The new entry-level EV, expected to break cover before 2027, is designed with a practical city lifestyle in mind. It won't boast a 200kW fast-charging capability or a long-distance travel battery. Grünitz emphasized its role as a pure city car, perfect for urban commuting rather than long highway journeys.

Addressing concerns about profitability, Grünitz suggested a unique approach. The Up's replacement may not need to generate massive margins on its own but could act as a 'loss leader,' introducing younger users to Volkswagen's EV lineup.

On the possibility of partnering with Renault for the new cheap EV, Grünitz remained open to various options. «We are looking at several different ways: doing it on our own, doing it with Cupra and Skoda, doing it with external partners… Everything has advantages or disadvantages, and at the end, we will see where we are at.»

Stay tuned for more updates as Volkswagen gears up for an electrifying return with the ID 1 in 2026!

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