FANS of The League of Gentleman, Wallace and Gromit and Stuart Maconie’s marvellous funny Pies and Prejudice will doubtless delight that an electric VW concept car is now a production reality.
The e-up! is, of course, an all-electric, zero-emissions twist on the frugal and friendly up! city car that Life On Cars tested last year, which should be a good thing. All the eco-friendly goodness of something you plug into the mains at night, mixed with the style, solidity and strangely entertaining feel of its petrol-propelled counterpart.
But, as we pointed out more than three years ago, it has a stupid name because – in these parts of t’world, at least – it’ll forever be confused with one of the phrases we Northerners use to greet one another. As a moniker e-up! takes me instantly into a world best summed up by that Hovis advert where a young boy pushes his bike up t’top o’world. E-up son, grand day t’take t’electric car t’pub!
Admittedly, I might have mocked VW just slightly in that original piece, by suggesting the e-up! match its Northern Soul name with a spec that includes a stereo which only plays Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys, the option of a hot hatch version called the YI rather than GTI to boost sales in Newcastle and Gateshead and proposed White Rose and Red Rose trim levels designed to appeal to subtly different customers in towns on either side t’pennines. What you’ll actually get is the electronic equivalent of 55bhp, the chance to fill up 80% of its charge in less than half an hour and a top speed of 85mph, which is more likely to make it a hit in the likes of Huddersfield and Hebden Bridge.
T’e-up! – sorry, can’t help it – will be available to order from VW showrooms across t’north of England from early next year. Grand!