Frankfurt Motor Show 2011: Volkswagen Up! Line

We’re not sure why, but a swarm of automobile manufacturers have been using lowercase letters and punctuation marks as titles for new vehicles, and such is the case with Volkswagen’s line of six new cars called up! that the company announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011.

The Up series of concept cars are all based around compressed natural gas technology, a pretty edgy choice for Volkswagen as we have not seen many automakers harnessing the technology (save a speciality company in Indiana) and yet have noted a negative report from the University of British Columbia about the use of the gas in vehicles.

Volkswagen up!, Volkswagen, Compressed Natural Gas, Frankfurt Motor Show 2011

image via Volkswagen

The six different cars, seen in the image above, are all based off the recently announced base model Up, seen in the image below, which is a sort of hybrid vehicle that features two gasoline engines and one natural gas engine. The four-seat cars are already available to order in Europe starting at roughly $13,500.

Volkswagen up!, Volkswagen, Compressed Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Frankfurt Motor Show 2011

image via Volkswagen

As far as the six concept cars, Volkswagen has proposed the Buggy Up, set lower to the ground and featuring a waterproof interior, the Up Azzurra Sailing Team, which has no doors or roof and boasts white leather and chrome stylings, the Cross Up, a family vehicle with four doors, the GT Up, which is a lighter weight sports car, and finally the Eco Up, perhaps the most exciting in the new line of models.

The Eco Up is actually planned for production sometime next year, and is equipped with a newly developed three cylinder, 1.0 liter natural gas engine and the company’s BlueMotion technology that uses regenerative braking technology. Volkswagen projects that the Eco Up has a fuel economy of 2.5 kilograms of natural gas per 100 kilometers (62 miles), which the automaker says will equal about 2.50 euros ($3.40) in costs, making the car a very economical drive.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.