Following the world-first spy photos of a Polo-based mule caught testing in Europe, our photographers have captured the first images of the upcoming 2013 Volkswagen E-Up in its prototype form - the proper basis for the final production version of the super-small electrified city car.
While the previous test car was clearly a 'mule' based on the previous-generation Polo 4, its enclosed grille gave away its true identity as an electric vehicle. These new images reveal that the production E-Up will feature styling closely mirroring the concept.
Our new renderings, below and in the attached gallery, offer a glimpse of the E-Up's expected styling when it launches in 2013.
Not expected to enter the market until around 2013, Volkswagen has yet to reveal specific technical details for its first all-electric car, likely to be called the E-Up.
The E-Up Concept, revealed in 2009, is motivated by a lithium-ion-powered front-mounted electric motor, producing 60kW and 210Nm of torque.
Acceleration is reasonably brisk for a car of the E-Up!'s stature: 50km/h comes up in 3.5 seconds, and 100km/h arrives in 11.3 seconds. The concept's top speed of 135km/h is more than adequate for urban driving.
In March, Volkswagen CEO Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn confirmed that the E-Up is slated for production in 2013, to be joined by electric and hybrid versions of other existing Volkswagen models at around the same time.
"Starting in 2013, the E-UP goes into production. The goal is to become the market leader in E-mobility by the year 2018. We want to attain an electric vehicle market share of three percent within our entire range of products," Dr Winterkorn said.
"We will take the hybrid out of its niche status with our high-volume models. In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity."
Although it will not be offered in Australia, a hybrid version of the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg was revealed alongside the regular Touareg in February ahead of its launch this year in Europe.