Volkswagen Space Up: is this the iCar?

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Here at DailyTechRag, we're quite adept at handling Apple rumors (we usually use oven mitts, a set of tongs and a liberal sprinkling of rock salt). Still, every once in a while we'll hear a crazy Apple rumor that makes even us sit up and take notice and the Apple/VW iCar yarn was just such a rumor. Back in August, it was revealed that Apple and Volkswagen were talking about "more heavily incorporating Apple products in Volkswagen's compact cars." Of course, everyone started yelling "OMG iCar!" and soon the Internet was full of hilarious, Photoshopped mock-ups. Knowing better, we said that "the idea of a car developed by VW in conjunction with Apple is tantalizing, terrifying and most likely, untrue. Expect better in-dash iPod integration, if anything, to result from this partnership."

Well, if the buzz around VW's latest concept car offers any indication, it looks like we may have been right on the money. At the LA Auto show this week, VW showed off its third-generation Space Up! prototype and low and behold, it sports a 7-inch touchscreen display with a very Apple-like interface. While the fonts, colors and reflections all smack of Cupertino, the most damning evidence comes in the form of what appears to be a Cover Flow interface. VW says that they'll be installing touchscreens in all of their cars starting with model year 2009. Could Apple be behind the interface design for those touchscreens? And might this mean even better iPod/iPhone integration in the next generation of V dubs? If we're lucky, we might hear something at MacWorld in January.

For more on the rumor:
- see this Engadget article