Volkswagen finally gives the Up the GTI treatment
VOLKSWAGEN has - at last - wheeled out the upcoming GTI version of its Up city car, writes William Scholes.
It is a bit of a mystery why it has taken VW five years to get round to sportifying its dinkiest model, especially when its compact size and fizzy personality seemed like the ideal platform.
VW is making much of the fact that the Up GTI's figures are almost identical to those toted by the original Golf GTI 41 years ago, though this probably reveals as much about how cars have swollen in size over four decades.
Where the first Golf GTI made 108bhp from its 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine in 1976, the Up GTI will have 113bhp from its turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit.
The newer car is heavier (997kg v 810kg), torquier (147lb.ft v 104lb.ft) and a little quicker (0-62mph in 8.8 seconds v 9.0 seconds, 122mph v 113mph).
The Up comes laden with by-now traditional GTI styling cues, so expect a red-striped radiator grille in a honeycomb pattern, GTI logos, lowered suspension, tartan seats and a GTI gearknob.
Volkswagen says the Up GTI is due to go on sale early next year. Expect it to cost around £14,000.