RE: VW Up GTI: PH Fleet

RE: VW Up GTI: PH Fleet

Friday 16th November 2018

VW Up GTI: PH Fleet

The Up is great on paper and on the road, but there's still room for improvement. Is it worth it, though?



There's been a lot of love for the Up GTI since its launch almost a year ago. On paper, the parallels between the Up and Mk.1 Golf GTI have proven irresistible to some, while on the road its cheap and cheerful character has won over many others. Despite the plaudits, however, one subject repeatedly crops up among the comments whenever Volkswagen's diminutive hot hatch is mentioned.

"Shame it's not a tad quicker. Needs to be in the mid sevens 0-60... I think with 15-inch wheels, Milltek exhaust and maybe Eibach springs it could be more fun... 145-150hp, coilovers, fruitier exhaust etc. It'll be a cracker... In 18-24 months time, I'll maybe pick up a Up GTI and have it straight into a tuners." You get the idea.

Having now spent over four months with the GTI, I've found it to be perfectly adept at fulfilling its sporty city car remit right out of the box - but untapped potential definitely remains. German tuners B&B Automobiltechnik clearly agreed, and created their own two-stage upgrade programme to put things right.


At Stage 1, boost pressure is increased by 0.2 bar, resulting in an extra 21hp from the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. Stage 2 adds an uprated air intake and even more boost, plus the prerequisite engine map, for a total output of 145hp and 192lb ft of torque. A sports suspension package, which lowers the car by 30mm, helps to keep that extra power in check.

The outcome is 0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of over 130mph - versus 8.8 seconds and 122mph as standard - and a bill for around €1,000 for Stage 1 or €1,500 for Stage 2. Sounds quite a lot like the suggestions made in the comments, doesn't it? But at that point, is it really worth buying the GTI at all? After all, it uses essentially the same motor - plus intercooler and remap - as the 90hp, 118lb ft Up TSI. That car costs Β£12,445 - Β£1,610 less than a standard GTI and nearly Β£3,500 less than 'our' Up as tested.

PHer 'wigit' brought his very own modded Up GTI along to our recent Silverstone Sunday Service, a car I've been admiring on Instagram for a while and one that's just as tasteful in person at it appears on screen. Lowered on Eibach Pro Street S springs, the OEM wheels fill the arches even more pleasingly at its new height. As do the Rota Grid rims wrapped in Michelin Sport Pilot 3s he uses for track time, and the set of 16-inch Sparco Assetto Garas for winter. He's got all his bases covered, basically.

Explaining his choices he said, "For me it was not perfect, there again which car is these days, so I thought it needed some fettling, it has a few minor interior tweaks including some pedals from the mk1 TT and an ITG panel filter. The area I felt it was lacking was in the suspension department, for daily grind it is fine but when pressing on I found it had too much roll and pitched under acceleration and braking."

"I had been in discussions with Eibach and decided to change the dampers and springs and go for their Pro Street S Coilover kit which meant I could adjust the ride height, this was put to the test with a 2,000 mile trip around the Scottish Highlands and has ventured to the Curborough Sprint Course. The result has been a complete success as ride whilst slightly firmer is not crashy in general daily life but the big difference is in high speed corners where it feels composed and balanced and given this car is all about momentum comes in handy. Others have gone down the Eibach B12 Pro Kit which is springs and dampers and given positive feedback as well."

"I am a fan of the stock wheels and tyres in terms of looks but they are heavy and the Goodyear's are there for a reason - emissions - and not fun. I have a couple of sets of 16x7 lighter wheels I run on it and have increased tyre width to 205mm with it being sat on Sparco Asseto Garas for winter; I think the added sidewall does also improve things from a driver's perspective."


I think that, for now, that level of fettling is about as far as it makes sense to go in the case of the GTI. A little more body control, a little more grip. Those with anything more serious in mind would surely be better served buying the TSI at current prices and putting the difference into creating their own fast Up from scratch. Though I recognise, of course, that logic isn't always of primary significance when it comes to spending money on a car...

In the GTI, though, buyers looking for a little more of a thrill - and a sharper image - than the rest of the range provides, without having to turn to the Demon Tweeks catalogue to get it, will likely find as much extra performance as they need already waiting for them.


FACT SHEET
Car:
Volkswagen Up GTI
On fleet since: August 2018
Run by: Dafydd Wood
List price new: Β£14,055 (As tested Β£16,005 comprising Deep Black paint (Β£520), Vodafone Protect and Connect 6 (Β£485), City Emergency Braking Pack (Β£380), Cruise and Park Pack (Β£300), Climate Control (Β£265)
Last month at a glance: The Up has us pondering its room for improvement

Previous reports:
PH gets All Fired Up about the latest Fleet arrival
When is a GTI not a GTI? When it's an Up!
Getting a leg Up on the competition





Author
Discussion

wab172uk

Original Poster:

1,371 posts

172 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
This is the exact thought I had. Buy one after 2 years then get it breathed on for up to 150BHP with new exhaust and air intake. Set of coil overs to lower it down a touch and improve the body control. Then I think it'd be a great run-around car.

99dndd

1,351 posts

34 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
I collected mine last night.

Plan is to keep it standard for a couple of years and then look at a couple of tweaks.

swisstoni

8,016 posts

224 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
It’s a shame it took so long for the Gti to arrive.
The Up is starting to look like it needs a refresh- it’s been around for 7 years now.

twocolours

91 posts

92 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
I'm half tempted by one of these, fitting a mountain bike in the back might be a struggle though...

RenesisEvo

3,080 posts

164 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
swisstoni said:
The Up is starting to look like it needs a refresh- it’s been around for 7 years now.
Was it not recently face-lifted?

I like the Up - its a brilliant piece of packaging in the same way a MINI isn't. However the lack of adjustment on the steering column left my long legs with nowhere to go, and so I ended up buying something else.

It all sounds like the GT86/BRZ again, 'needs more power'.... in a world of diesels, 400bhp hatches and 600bhp saloons, it's perhaps understandable why everyone always wants more power. I think that misses the point somewhat. More power = more running costs, and really the point of it for me is to be fun and entertaining without breaking the bank

Onehp

1,088 posts

228 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
"After all, it uses essentially the same motor - plus intercooler and remap - as the 90hp, 118lb ft Up TSI"

Doesn't the 90hp have an intercooler then? The 110hp Golf 1.0 tsi I saw had the intercooler integrated in the inlet manifold (water cooled IC - short route and great for better throttle response). Pics suggest both Up 1.0 TSI/GTI engines are similar.

donteatpeople

505 posts

219 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
twocolours said:
I'm half tempted by one of these, fitting a mountain bike in the back might be a struggle though...
My mountain mountain bike went in the back of my Citigo OK, there's a lot more room in the back than you might imagine. I had to fold the rear seats down and take both wheels off but if you can live with that it's not a problem.

Midgster

375 posts

179 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
Look like great little cars, but the seats let it down a bit, not very sporty.



they look no better than mk1 Fiesta seats from 35 years ago



Edited by Midgster on Friday 16th November 13:31

Mercury00

3,504 posts

101 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
Still needs 15" wheels.

twocolours

91 posts

92 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
donteatpeople said:
twocolours said:
I'm half tempted by one of these, fitting a mountain bike in the back might be a struggle though...
My mountain mountain bike went in the back of my Citigo OK, there's a lot more room in the back than you might imagine. I had to fold the rear seats down and take both wheels off but if you can live with that it's not a problem.
Thanks, that's good to know! Didn't think of taking the rear wheel off to be honest as I'm so used to just taking the front off

F4R

104 posts

10 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
I really like these, although I was disappointed when I saw one running recently as it sounded silent. I was expecting it to sound a little sportier, being a GTI model

BlackandWhite

26 posts

139 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
3000 miles in mine so far and of course it's a modern illness to want more of everything, that said, it's actually brilliant straight out of the box, big glass sunroof, seats are fine, the beats sound pack is phenomenal for such a small car and it has cruise control, heated seats, it's just all there and it gets better as time goes on, feeling a lot of love for "the mouse".

wingzero9988

2 posts

23 months

Monday 19th November 2018
quotequote all
Anybody know the instagram account for the modified up GTI the article is referring to?

yanyan

300 posts

157 months

Monday 19th November 2018
quotequote all
Midgster said:
they look no better than mk1 Fiesta seats from 35 years ago
Except... those Fiesta seats have been re-trimmed; the original headrests didn't have the "carla" fabric on them, neither did the seats ever have contrasting piping. I get your point though.

Klippie

1,563 posts

90 months

Monday 19th November 2018
quotequote all


Supersport..???

andrewparker

3,693 posts

132 months

Monday 19th November 2018
quotequote all
wingzero9988 said:
Anybody know the instagram account for the modified up GTI the article is referring to?
https://instagram.com/fast_two