Alfa 145 Cloverleaf which, mysteriously, came and went before my next visit home and was never mentioned again. "I did almost buy one of those nice little Lupo GTIs though," she said in passing.
She should have done. And she should have kept it too, looking at the prices these things are now going for in the PH classifieds.
Launched in December 2000 and updated with a six-speed gearbox for the 2002 model-year halfway through 2001, the little Lupo hails from a period in VW group history in which premium car engineering and quality surfaced in ostensibly junior models. With cars like the A2, the seemingly never-ending Veyron project, the Bentley Conti and others, this was Piech encouraging a culture of engineering indulgence, not always in the most obvious places.
HowManyLeft a good proportion of the near-1,000 cars sold in the UK survive, with 822 showing as registered last year. Not a bad survival rate for a hot hatch but it's a little car with quite a following and you'll need around £4,000 to get in one now. Are there many other cars retaining over a third of their value after 10 years on the road? Probably not, and especially not little runabouts like the Lupo.
This one, up for £4,650, looks to have been well-loved and is one of the MY2002 cars with the six-speeder, too. Black looks classy, and those subtly-boosted lines have aged very well indeed. Sorry Mum, but you should've bought this one back in the day. And what the hell did happen with that Alfa?
VOLKSWAGEN LUPO GTI
Engine: 1,598cc 4-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual (6-speed post-MY2002)
Power (hp): 125@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 112@3,000rpm
MPG: 38.7 (official combined)
First registered: 2002
Recorded mileage: 70,000
Price new: £12,980
Yours for: £4,650
See the original advert here.