During the annual GTI Meet that took place at Lake Wörthersee, Austria, Volkswagen has taken the opportunity to unveil the new UP! GTI concept. As a tribute to the first ever GTI ever made (the Golf GTI MK1), the UP! GTI follows the same recipe as the original GTI.
Let’s recap on what the Golf GTI MK1 was all about. Launched back in the 1970s, it tipped the scale at 810 kg and packs a modest 108 hp. With a century sprint time of 9.0 seconds and a top speed of 182 km/h, the little hatchback quickly established its presence at the high-speed German motorways.
The UP! GTI is very much like the original GTI and weighs just 997 kg. Motivation comes from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI engine that develops 113 hp and 230 Nm of torque. Power is channelled to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG. Getting to 100 km/h from standstill takes just 8.8 seconds and flat out it will hit 197 km/h. Very much like the Golf GTI MK1, isn’t it?
To ensure that the GTI drives as good as it looks, VW installed a sports suspension that lowers ride height by 15 mm and a larger roof spoiler that provides greater downforce on the rear axle. Volkswagen claims that these collectively give the car the agility akin to that of a go-kart, without sacrificing high levels of comfort.
Bearing the GTI badge, the UP! GTI gets dressed in typical GTI insignia, including a honeycomb grille with red stripe running across, gloss black wing mirror caps and 17-inch alloys. Inside, the cabin is instantly recognisable by its GTI gear knob, “clark” seat design and leather wrapped sports steering wheel.
Volkswagen has announced that the production version of the UP! GTI will be available in early 2018. Several colour options include Tornado Red, Pure White, Dark Silver, Black Pearl and Costa Azul Blue.