Small cars are the urban vehicle of the future – fuel-efficient, undemanding when it comes to parking space, compact and easy to maneuver in city traffic. The new Volkswagen up! shows Italian fashion designer Stella Jean what it can do on the busy streets of Rome.
FASHION DESIGNER STELLA JEAN AND THE
NEW UP! ON THE VIA MARGUTTA IN ROME –
Film director Federico Fellini used to live
here; now artists’ galleries and studios
line the street.
Via Margutta 51. Classic film buffs will recognize the address where Audrey Hepburn fell for Gregory Peck on her unforgettable scooter tour of Rome in the 1953 movie “Roman Holiday”. Today, the large wooden door of Via Margutta 51 opens to reveal the courtyard of a house with countless stairs, hugging the side of a hill – just as leafy, beautiful and romantic as it was in the fifties.
Stella Jean stands on the roof terrace where Audrey Hepburn once took in the magnificent view of Rome. One of her friends works in the famous building. The young fashion designer, currently the talk of the fashion world after receiving several awards and having her creations featured in a photo story in Italian Vogue, insisted on paying him a flying visit. “Tommaso, I just have to show you the car I came here in!” Stella gushes about her ride in the Volkswagen up!.
A white Volkswagen up! 1 awaits the pair on the street. “Simpatico”, says Tommaso appreciatively. Stella’s gaze sweeps over the body of the car. “If I were to design a car, it would look like the up!. I like clean lines and understated style. Good design is pure and simple.” Few, but distinctive lines, large lights, eye-catching logo, no unnecessary details. “I like it.”
Just 3.54 meters long, the compact, zippy city car is as good as made for Rome, one of the most motorized cities in the world. Space is always limited, wherever you are. Stella shrugs. That’s just the way Rome is. “I don’t want to give up the freedom and flexibility of having a car. There will never be a city without cars – not in Italy, not anywhere in the world”, she says, convinced.
It is for busy cities and their people that Volkswagen developed the up! – a small car that is perfect for country roads and motorways, but whose real talents come to the fore in city traffic. The up! is the only car in its class with a city emergency braking function for speeds of up to 30 km/h. A laser measures the distance to vehicles in front and fixed objects within a ten-meter radius. The up! brakes automatically if it detects an imminent collision.