Volkswagen Lupo GTI: Spotted


PH recently got behind the wheel of the new Volkswagen Up GTI, a car which VW has tried very hard to suggest is the successor to the Mk1 Golf GTI. But, leafing through the back catalogue of GTI models, the Up GTI is surely in fact the successor to the Lupo GTI - launched back in 2000 and also said to lay claim to the Mk1's throne.

While showing off its credentials for being a car that can provide fun and quick, Volkswagen was working on a Lupo that consumed only three litres of fuel per 100km. Not as interesting but an amazing feat at the time. Admittedly, when I first saw the '3.0-litre Lupo' in Malta, I was taken aback thinking VW had fitted a 3.0-litre engine in the tiny city car. I was greatly disappointed when I spoke to the owner.

The Lupo GTI was fitted with lighter aluminium panels (doors, bonnet and wheelarches) and borrowed the Polo GTI's 1.6-litre engine, propelling the Lupo to 62mph in 8.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 127mph. Originally fitted with a five-speed box before acquiring a six-speed in 2002, these figures were enough to trouble most 1.8-litre Polo GTI owners. Inside, it carried on the GTI looks with sports seats, leather rimmed steering wheel, polished steel pedals and build quality to rival some of Volkswagen's larger and expensive models.


In early road tests, the Lupo was found to corner well, with little body roll and plenty of grip to keep you pushing forward down B-roads, with surprising speed thanks to the car's sub-1,000kg weight. We last ran a Lupo GTI Spotted in 2013, that car with similar mileage was up for sale at £4,650, so this later model is holding its value well. Perhaps rarity is a factor in that; this model has been imported from Japan and, with only 635 cars left on the road (there were never more than 1,000 in the UK), it is only a matter of time till all the good ones get snatched up.

In this sector, the Renaultsport Twingo 133, Citroen C2 VTS and Mini Cooper can all be considered as strong rivals, but with its limited availability and superior build quality, the Lupo is the safe, yet fun bet.


SPECIFICATION - VOLKSWAGEN LUPO GTI

Engine: 1,598cc 4-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 125@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 112@3,000rpm
MPG: 38.7 (official combined)
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2004
Recorded mileage: 70,000
Price new: £12,980
Yours for: £4,650

See the original advert here.

 

 

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Comments (69) Join the discussion on the forum

  • JoshMay 17 Mar 2018

    Too small, not interesting, and a rubbish name! I’m not feeling the love for this particular car, even if it is a little go-kart.

  • rallycross 17 Mar 2018

    JoshMay said:
    Too small, not interesting, and a rubbish name! I’m not feeling the love for this particular car, even if it is a little go-kart.
    If you'd spent any time behind the wheel of a Lupo Gti you'd have a very different opinion as these were/are a fantastic little hot hatch and feel much quicker than the on paper numbers suggest.


  • BAM225 17 Mar 2018

    rallycross said:
    If you'd spent any time behind the wheel of a Lupo Gti you'd have a very different opinion as these were/are a fantastic little hot hatch and feel much quicker than the on paper numbers suggest.
    Warm hatch, they were a warm hatch.

  • Furberger 17 Mar 2018

    BAM225 said:
    rallycross said:
    If you'd spent any time behind the wheel of a Lupo Gti you'd have a very different opinion as these were/are a fantastic little hot hatch and feel much quicker than the on paper numbers suggest.
    Warm hatch, they were a warm hatch.
    Similar figures to a 205gti. That's a hot hatch.

    The modern, bloated iterations of the golfs etc aren't hot hatches any more.

  • Riverside Red 17 Mar 2018

    After buying my daughter a 1.4S Lupo as her first car, I've always lusted after one of these.

    I think the Lupo GTi is a great little car for £5k.

    RR

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