Volkswagen Up! GTI, a city speedster to rival the hot Fiat Abarth

GTI (Grand Tourer Injection), the three magical alphabets that transforms any ordinary cars into pocket rockets. Volkswagen has the Polo GTI and Golf GTI, and now comes the Up! GTI.

The Up! (yes, the exclamation mark really exists!) is Volkswagen’s entry-level hatchback which is powered by a three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine that produces 60 to 100 horsepower depending on variants. An electrical version, the e-Up!, is also available and made its appearance two years ago in Malaysia, but it’s not for sale.

But what could this little unpretentious GTI-bearing city car offer to petrol heads? To start, the new and powerful three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre engine adheres to the company’s new tagline of ‘affordable performance’. The new engine will be mated to a choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Volkswagen hasn’t released the engine’s figures, but it will apparently sprint from nought to 100km/h in 8.0 seconds, and has a top speed of 200km/h! That might not sound much but do note that the Up! weighs less than a tonne, so this is a recipe for a true pocket rocket, much like the original Golf GTI Mk1.

In line with the additional power, the Up! GTI will receive suspension upgrades and revised chassis tuning. As always, the GTI badge means the Up! will receive visual enhancements like larger wheels, bodykit, dual exhaust outlets, and of course, the traditional golf ball gear knob on the inside.

No word on its confirmed production, but the Up! GTI is setting its sights on another city car – the Fiat Abarth 595. Regardless, both cars are welcomed, showing that smiles per km can be obtained in small packages, something a certain brand has long forgotten. Mini, I’m looking at you…

[Source: Autocar UK]


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