Spy photographers staking out a potential drop-off point for the new VW Lupo / Up prototype got lucky and caught the vehicle being unloaded in Death Valley for hot weather testing.
The Lupo / Up was previously spied in mule form wearing a shortened Polo body. These photos show VW's newest city/minicar model as a full body prototype for the first time.
In addition to the 3-door hatchback seen here, the Lupo / Up will also be available as a longer wheelbase 5-door hatch as well as an all-electric version. The electric variant previewed in concept form as the E-Up! will come with a 60 kW electric motor producing 210 Nm of torque. Other variants will likely feature VW's small diesel and petrol power plant lineup including a 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder petrol engine and 1.2-liter diesel both producing 75 PS (74 bhp / 55 kW) plus a 1.2 liter TSI with 86 PS (84 bhp / 63kW).
Production will commence in Slovakia with its market launch in summer 2011 as a 2012 model. The E-Lupo is not expected to make it to market until 2013.
Prices are expected to begin at around £8200 (€9,700) for the U.K. market.
[UPDATE] New photos show a second prototype. The spy photographer suggests the prototype with more narrow grille opening could be the electric powered Lupo / Up version or at least two different engines are being used.