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RE: Volkswagen Up GTI - official

RE: Volkswagen Up GTI - official

Friday 19th May

Volkswagen Up GTI - official

GTI comes full circle as new Up takes us back to basics like the 70s original



Given the obvious temptations on the spec sheet it will prove physically impossible for any motoring media outlet to reference the new Up GTI without comparing it to the original 1976 Golf GTI. Oops, there we go already... Almost like they planned it, isn't it?

Prototype makes production!
Prototype makes production!
You may recall the prototype drive in the Up GTI from late last year; now it's official with the car due to be revealed in public at next week's Worthersee Treffen in front of thousands of cheery and (probably) beery VW fans. And, yes, those comparisons to the Mk1 Golf GTI are rather irresistible, given the Up GTI's comparable size, modest 115hp output and sub-tonne kerbweight. In a world where hot hatches now pack 300hp-plus, electronically controlled differentials, variable dampers and even ceramic brakes this could be considered a refreshing breath of fresh air and a return to the core values of simplicity, light weight and back to basics fun. Let's hope so.

What's changed since that prototype drive? Well ... we don't know yet because we haven't driven it. But it's got the same three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, the same 115hp and 147lb ft of torque, the same boxy looks and retro GTI embellishments and the same 15mm ride height drop and suspension upgrades over the regular Up. The devil will be in the detail of calibration and only apparent once we get to drive a full production example but the signs have to be encouraging, especially if VW nails the price point and makes sure affordability is another hot hatch tradition to be maintained.

Three-door too - hurrah!
Three-door too - hurrah!
To do that it would need to hit the £15,000 mark suggested by our colleagues at Autocar, this putting the Up GTI on equal terms with the Renault Twingo GT and undercutting that car's Brabus Smart ForFour equivalent, which costs £17,080. These closely-related twins share the unusual rear-engined, rear-driven layout and appeal to a similar audience, other alternatives including the Vauxhall Adam S and entry-level versions of the Abarth 595, which offers 145hp for £15,260.

But for junior true hot hatch cred we'd be hoping for a successor to the Suzuki Swift Sport we've been enjoying on the PH Fleet. OK, so the Up GTI will be turbocharged and that prototype drive suggests it might not match the undiluted response of the Suzuki's naturally-aspirated engine. But the new (also turbocharged Swift) is on its way and if the Up GTI inherits the Swift's sense of fun it could well become the go-to pocket rocket of choice and the most serious baby hot hatch in the sector. And in that sense VW really would be maintaining tradition it so successfully started over 40 years ago. Here's hoping.

   
Author
Discussion

Fetchez la vache

Original Poster:

4,968 posts

137 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
Rather like the look of that... smile

Uncle Ron

116 posts

22 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
It looks really cool but it's less powerful than the old Lupo GTI - should have pipped that at the very least.

I'll wait for the Mid-Engined Clubsport S version.

Turbobanana

782 posts

124 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
It won't matter what it drives like: it has 2 badges on the back that will ensure it sells well - "VW" & "GTI". I suspect that will be enough for the target demographic.

dxg

4,855 posts

183 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
Are those rear drums?

As a Lupo GTI owner, I'm not impressed. The Lupo stood out by all the subtle (different body shell for the rear arches, for example) changes that were made. This is just wheels and suspension...

C7 JFW

871 posts

142 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
A sensible fast car that quite a few people will be able to afford. It's got a VW badge so it might not fall to bits and will no doubt be excellent fun to drive.

Good show VW.
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J4CKO

22,638 posts

123 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
That is going to be sensational, that class has been crying out for something like this, as the articles says, very near to a MK1 Golf GTI stats wise, but with a load more torque and working brakes ! 115 may sound a bit puny these days but will be plenty in something that size and weight, also sounds very like a R5 GT turbo kind of deal, coudl this be the answer to old school hot hatch yearnings, but without the generally horrific reality of dealing with 30 year old cars ?

I drive our C1 and it is gutless anywhere apart from round town and the gearing is daft, but that form factor is perfect, throw in the power and I would expect a large dose of fun, then these are going to be very popular, especially as speed enforcement gets more focus, can obviously still get in trouble but not quite as easily.

Just cant understand why they havent done it sooner, bet there is scope for a bit of a remap with that engine as well.

Dave Hedgehog

9,694 posts

127 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
potentially could be fun

but my 15k would go on a 595 abarth

swisstoni

5,693 posts

202 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
A lot closer in concept to the original Golf version than any current Golf.

steve-5snwi

1,310 posts

16 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
If they offer a DSG option it could very well be our next runaround, I guess the lease rates would be pretty good too.

dandare

514 posts

177 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
It looks like an updated Renault Twingo (mk1). Not as pretty, but not offensive.

Nice to see that it's light. Better than the lardy Golfs.

culpz

2,300 posts

35 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
I've been awaiting the release of this for a while now. It does looks great. However, i can't get over that the Up GT, which was the first potential sporty version of this car, that did eventually get dropped for the GTI, looked alot better. Well, in my eyes, at least.

I reference to it's rivals, i do confess, with some guilt, that i do like the new Smart ForFour Brabus, but it's definitely too expensive. I do like the Twingo GT but i'm not hugely excited over it. The current Swift Sport is soon to be replaced. The Adam S doesn't do much for me and the Abarth 595 is probably the one that trumps them all. This could really be VW's time to shine here.

ambuletz

6,217 posts

104 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
Only thing about this I'm not keen on is the 1litre 3cy. can't they just to a normal NA 4cy? bleedin emissions!

DavidStarkey11

5 posts

9 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
That's a cracking looking little car.

Jimmy Recard

13,578 posts

102 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
Yep, I fancy one!

SirSquidalot

2,635 posts

88 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
Looks ace!

Torquey

1,350 posts

151 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
Disappointed in the engine choice. It should have 150bhp+ at least.

FN2TypeR

3,641 posts

16 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
Dave Hedgehog said:
potentially could be fun

but my 15k would go on a 595 abarth
Can you get a new one for that? I was given a boggo 1.2 Fiat 500 Pop as a courtesy car a while back and out of curiosity I looked at their online configurator for a price, it was really, really expensive for such a basic car, and they're everywhere! They must be absolutely raking it in.

But yes, I'd almost certainly have an Abarth before this too, it still seems pretty cool though! cool

Dave Hedgehog

9,694 posts

127 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
FN2TypeR said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
potentially could be fun

but my 15k would go on a 595 abarth
Can you get a new one for that? I was given a boggo 1.2 Fiat 500 Pop as a courtesy car a while back and out of curiosity I looked at their online configurator for a price, it was really, really expensive for such a basic car, and they're everywhere! They must be absolutely raking it in.

But yes, I'd almost certainly have an Abarth before this too, it still seems pretty cool though! cool
list price on their website £15,200 for the 140bhp, i am sure you could get a good discount or some options thrown in on that

p4cks

1,939 posts

122 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
FN2TypeR said:
Dave Hedgehog said:
potentially could be fun

but my 15k would go on a 595 abarth
Can you get a new one for that? I was given a boggo 1.2 Fiat 500 Pop as a courtesy car a while back and out of curiosity I looked at their online configurator for a price, it was really, really expensive for such a basic car, and they're everywhere! They must be absolutely raking it in.
Especially when you consider it's built on the 2003 Fiat Panda platform.

J4CKO

22,638 posts

123 months

Friday 19th May
quotequote all
ambuletz said:
Only thing about this I'm not keen on is the 1litre 3cy. can't they just to a normal NA 4cy? bleedin emissions!
3 cyls are ace, its a tiny car, a 4 cyl probably wouldn't fit, they all have three cyls in the Up range.

Will probably give it a more sporty sound as well, les face it, smaller VW 4 cyls generally arent super sporty having driven a cooking Polo a while back, it had an engine but I cant remember anything about it apart from it being wholly unremarkable, we have two three cyls, the C1 and Fiesta, both sound "unconventional", the C1 better than the Fiesta, kind of normal car with a hint of something eastern bloc seventies style, maybe air cooled, not unlike our old Fiat 500 in that way you really are aware when its running and cant mistake it for other cars.