The up! GTI is billed as a modern-day interpretation of the original Golf GTI.
Volkswagen has finally introduced a hotter version of the up!, an entry-level hatchback that lives on the other side of the pond.
The up! GTI is billed as a modern-day interpretation of the original Golf GTI due to its low weight and its tiny, city-friendly dimensions. Visually, it gets a body kit that includes larger air vents in the front bumper, side skirts, and a roof-mounted spoiler. Discreet red accents bring the up! in line with other GTI-badged members of the Volkswagen family.
Enthusiasts familiar with the Golf GTI will feel right at home in its smaller sibling. There is a flat-bottomed steering wheel with red stitching and a GTI emblem, sport seats for the front passengers, and tartan upholstery all around.
The up! GTI uses a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine tuned to make 115 horsepower and a generous 170 pound-feet of torque. 115 horses doesn't sound like a lot, but keep in mind Volkswagen's smallest GTI tips the scale at under 2,200 pounds.
The triple sends the newest GTI from zero to 60 mph in 8.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 122 mph. To put those figures into perspective, the original Golf GTI performed the same sprint in nine seconds flat, while a modern-day GTI takes just 5.9 seconds.
The Volkswagen up! GTI will arrive in showrooms across Europe in the fall. Pricing information hasn't been released yet, but expect a base price in the vicinity of €20,000 (about $22,000). Of course, the only way to get an up! GTI in the United States is to wait a quarter of a century until it's exempt from all DOT and EPA requirements.