Volkswagen up!s the

electro ante

Volkswagen e-up!

ALL-electric motoring is now available for little more than £20k with the arrival of the electrically-powered version of Volkswagen's up! city car.

With its 82 PS electric motor the e-up! boasts a peak torque figure of 210 Nm, equating to a 0-62 mph time of 12.4 seconds and a top speed of 80 mph with a maximum range of around 93 miles between charges.

Power is provided by a lithium-ion battery pack located within the car's floor mated to a single-speed gearbox.

The battery weighs 230 kg but, despite this, the e-up! still weighs less than its internal combustion-engined sibling, tipping the scales at 1,139 kg thanks to extensive weight-saving measures.

The necessary variety of charging cables includes a fast charge connection which allows for up to 80 per cent of the battery's capacity to be replenished in just 30 minutes. Meanwhile, a full charge from a standard household plug takes nine hours. Customers can purchase an optional wall box for home garage use, which provides a 3.6 kW supply and can recharge a battery in six hours.

The e-up! comes with an extensive line-up of standard equipment including electronic air conditioning, cruise control, parking sensors plus auto activation for the wipers and headlights.

Fresh styling features for the five-door electric version include beefier front bumpers which house LED running lights and a more angular back bumper which includes a prominent diffuser panel alongside a sharper tail light design.

Like its conventionally-powered stablemate the e-up! features an innovative smartphone docking station which enables the driver's phone to be turned into the car's infotainment system.

The smartphone can be used to select and play music, or as a navigation system. It can even display key systems data and tips from the Volkswagen Think Blue Trainer which coaches a driver in efficient driving techniques.

The new e-up! is priced at £20,780 including the Government Plug-in Car Grant of £4,500. Deliveries are expected to begin in October. Alternatively it's available from £275 per month on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) scheme, with a £900 deposit contribution. .

Volkswagen says that together with the all-electric e-Golf and hybrid versions of the Golf and Passat, the arrival of the e-up! represents the start of a significant acceleration toward electro-mobility for the German company with 30 more electric or plug-in hybrid models due to be launched by 2025.

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