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VW GT Up, Cross Up, e-Up, eco Up and Buggy Up are downsized marvels

Volkswagen has gone Up crazy, unveiling not one, not two, but six incarnations of its Up supermini, including an electric-only offering and a sporty GT model

Rory Reid
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Volkswagen has gone Up crazy at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The company has unveiled not one, not two, but six incarnations of its Up supermini, including an electric-only offering and a sporty GT model that uses your smartphone as its sat-nav and stereo.

The all-electric e-Up, confirmed for production in 2013, uses a 60kW electric motor and a fairly generous 18kWh battery pack as its means of propulsion. Combined, the two offer a respectable 85mph top speed and an 80-mile range, making it ideal for boasting about how much money you've saved on short commutes or getting completely stranded on longer ones.

If that sort of performance doesn't fill you with confidence, Volkswagen also unveiled the similarly Earth-friendly Eco Up, which uses a 66bhp 1-litre three-cylinder natural gas-powered engine that emits a Prius-beatnig 79g of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

The sporty GT Up, meanwhile, is aimed at those in search of keen performance. Volkswagen claims the little supermini channels the spirit of the original Golf GTI, offering chuckable handling characteristics by way of its uber-low 900Kg weight.

This car features an information and entertainment system based on the driver's smart phone. The concept model we saw had an iPhone 4, slotted into the dashboard, playing tunes via the handset's music library. It could also relay driving data gleaned directly from the car's onboard computer and also worked as a sat-nav.

The display was, understandably, rather small in comparison dedicated in-car infotainment displays, but it benefited from a fantastic gesture-based user interface and it should be less expensive to implement than a traditional in-car entertainment setups.

VW also unveiled two buggy concepts in the form of the Up Azzura and Buggy Up, though we can't imagine these beach-oriented offerings ever being released in places where rain is a possibility -- i.e. planet Earth.

Consumers are more likely to end up getting hold of the Cross Up, which previews a four-door version of VW's new supermini with a more rugged cross country sort of vibe.

Have a butchers' through our photo gallery to see the Ups in all their glory.

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