This is the Volkswagen E-Up! Hours before its Frankfurt unveiling, we take the lid off this all-electric story.

The lid is off on the Volkswagen E-Up! concept.  The all-electric vehicle will be spotlighted at the VW stage during the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.

The 3.2-meter long car has a 0-100 km/h time of 11.3 seconds; not too bad for a small urban vehicle.  It uses an electric motor that provides a continuous 40 kilowatt output, with a maximum burst of 60 kW.  The motor cranks out an impressive 210 Nm of torque, which allows it to hit 50 km/h in 3.5 seconds.  It has a top speed of 135 km/h.

Even more interesting is the car's interior design.  It features a 3+1 setup that allows the folding of most seats for more cargo space.

Still more interesting is the car's weight.  Despite carrying 240 kilograms of lithium-ion batteries, the car weighs a scant 1,085 kg.  The car's range is not mentioned in the press release, but recharge time on a 230-volt outlet takes about five hours.

The Volkswagen E-Up! is slated for a 2013 market release.  Still, do not expect to see these all over the globe's roads.  VW Chairman Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn said, "Yet, to be a genuine success such an electric car must be affordable to a broad customer base and must be uncompromisingly practical in everyday driving. Only then, in high volumes, and ideally on all continents, can one truly speak of the beginning of the electric age in automobiles and a perceptible reduction of their environmental impact."

He went on to say that he does not expect this to happen until at least 2020.

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