First hinted in June, a new addition to Volkswagen's up! family of superminis has been confirmed today. According to an Autocar report, the German manufacturer has not only signed off on the ‘up! GTI,’ but have already begun prototype test drives.
The ‘performance’ up! will see the standard 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder reworked and revised, massaging an additional 18kW out of the little engine. Torque should be up as well, though a figure has not yet been released by Volkswagen. The up! GTI will also be light, with the scales tipping at just 1,020kg. The power-to-weight ratio on offer should ensure the nippy, frenzied feel that classic hot-hatchbacks were famous for.
Continuing the throwback theme are the up! GTI’s purported century sprint times: The up! GTI should do the dash in 8.8-seconds, which is reminiscent of the Mk1 Golf GTI’s figure of 9.2-seconds. The up!’s figure was timed with a six-speed manual gearbox fitted; If a DSG double-clutch automatic makes it to the pocket-rocket, the figure ought to be shrunk slightly.
The littlest GTI is expected to hit the market in 2018, with prices hinted to be around £15,000. As the up! was removed from the Australian lineup in 2014 following lacklustre sales (the manual-only spec was to blame), there’s little chance that the up! GTI will ever make local introduction. But if Volkswagen decides that a DSG automatic is to be employed… there may be hope for it yet.
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