The 114-horsepower hot hatch will be Volkswagen's smallest GTI-badged model.
Volkswagen is preparing to expand its lineup of GTI-badged cars towards the bottom. The Wolfsburg-based automaker has confirmed it will introduce a hot-rodded up! GTI next year.
Power for Volkswagen's upcoming pocket rocket will come from an evolution of the turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that powers the standard car. It will generate approximately 114 horsepower, which is a decent amount of grunt in a hatchback that weighs about 2,200 pounds. Early tests reveal it can hit 62 mph from a stop in under nine seconds, according to British magazine Autocar.
At launch, the up! GTI will only be offered with a six-speed manual transmission. A dual-clutch DSG transmission controlled by shift paddles might join the list of options a little later in the production run. Sportier settings for the steering and the suspension will improve make the GTI better to drive than the regular model, which already stands outs as one of the more driver-focused cars in its competitive set.
Visually, the GTI will stand out from the standard up! (pictured) thanks to deeper bumpers on both ends, side skirts, a roof-mounted spoiler, and model-specific alloy wheels. It will also receive the discreet red graphics that characterize the GTI-badged variants of the Golf and the Polo.
The Volkswagen up! GTI will debut in the second half of 2017, likely during the Frankfurt Auto Show, and it will land in showrooms across Europe about a year from now. The standard up! isn't sold on our shores, so it goes without saying that the GTI-badged model won't make the trip across the pond.
Photos by Ronan Glon.