The Volkswagen Group has revealed that it will introduce a new family of small cars based on the Up! prototypes for the VW, Seat and Skoda brands. Europe's largest carmaker announced that it has also taken the decision to build all variants of the minicar that are known as "New Small Family" at its Bratislava plant in Slovakia. The first examples of the city cars that will be available in 3-door and 5-door versions will roll off the production lines at the beginning of 2011. "Our team at Volkswagen in Slovakia is ideally prepared to provide the flexibility required for the production of the New Small Family. Four brands are already produced successfully under one roof at our plant in Bratislava today," said Professor Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.
The first study for these economical city cars, the three -door Up!, made its world debut at the Frankfurt Show in 2007 followed a few weeks later by a five-door iteration called Space-Up! at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show while VW also introduced a third variant at the 2007 Los Angeles Show called the Space-Up! Blue.
Even though the Up! concept studies featured a rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, it remains to be seen if the VW Group retains this architecture on the production versions.