Up! on the up and up with GTI

Riley Riley

Remember the Volkswagen Up! — VW’s bottom-feeding cheapie?

Launched in 2012 Aussies didn’t quite warm to the car in a way the company might have hoped, and within two years it was given the old heave ho.

Powered by a 55kW 1.0-litre, three cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine, Up! was never going to set the world on fire.

But, get this, VW has just launched a GTI version of the cars overseas.

Anyone up for an Up! now?

The Up! GTI has been described as one of the most keenly anticipated new cars of the year.

BBC Top Gear Magazine named it “pocket rocket of the year”, CAR awarded the four-seat firebrand a rare five-star verdict after their initial experience of it overseas and style gurus GQ this week handed it their ‘Scream If You Want To Go Faster Award’ in the British GQ Car Awards 2018.

Up! GTI is available in three- or five-door body styles with one, generous, level of specification.

This version is powered by turbocharged, 1.0-litre three cylinder engine that produces 85kW of power and 200Nm of torque between 2000 and 3500 revs, and can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 8.8 seconds.

Drive is to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, and enables VW’s latest pocket rocket to hit a top speed of almost 200km/h.

Weighing in at just 1070kg it’s underpinned by sports suspension that lowers the car 15mm and rides on 17-inch alloys.

Up! GTI features red stripes and brake calipers, plus a chrome tipped exhaust and sporty twin side stripes that recall the styling of the original ‘70s Golf hot hatch.

Inside the front seats are trimmed in the usual Jakara checked cloth pattern.

You get all this and fuel consumption of just 5.7L/100m.

The Up! GTI is also one of the first VWs to feature a close-coupled petrol particulate filter that reduces particulate emissions by up to 95 per cent.

Looks like there’s an up-side to everything.

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