Riding on a brand new platform, the next up! will gain a longer front overhang in order to comply with strict new pedestrian and occupant protection norms that will come into effect throughout the European Union before the end of the decade.
Volkswagen engineers will take advantage of the longer overhang to make several mechanical changes to the pint-sized hatchback. For starters, the up! will gain a dual-clutch gearbox designed in-house in addition to the five- and six-speed manuals and the unpopular single-clutch automatic transmission that are available today.
The bigger dimensions will create a larger engine bay, making it possible for engineers to shoehorn larger, more powerful gasoline- and diesel-burning engines that will be better adapted to highway driving. This opens up the possibility to create a punchy range-topping performance-focused version with about 100 horsepower under the hood, but Volkswagen has yet to give the project the green light.
The next up!'s debut is still several years away so it's too early to tell whether it will be sold in the United States.