There's just something so satisfying about a racecar without a livery, isn't there? While there have been some iconic paint schemes down the years and plenty of striking designs, when it comes to tin tops especially, it's hard to beat a blank slate. Usually that's thanks to the fact that the monotone machine's swollen arches, flared intakes and aggressive stance aren't camouflaged by a mess of different shapes, colours and logos, but even in the case of far more conservative racers, like today's Spotted, it still seems to hold true.
And while this Volkswagen Lupo may not boast the same dramatic proportions as a GT3 car, its subtle styling belies its serious setup. All Lupo Cups were prepped for competition by renowned German tuning firm Abt before being sent out around Europe for competition. The upgrades were not exactly extreme, focussing instead on weight saving and racing readiness, with coilover suspension, OZ Racing Superturismo wheels, a roll cage, bucket seat and suede VW Motorsport steering wheel all getting the nod, along with a sports exhaust.
Powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine - of the kind found in the Lupo GTI - with a six-speed manual transmission, this example has been modified further still to feature many of the upgrades found on the seriously potent Lupo BTC car. To that end it sports a Quaife limited-slip differential, aluminium doors, wings and bonnet, and a Konig carbon kevlar driver's seat, while the battery has also been relocated to the rear to improve weight distribution.
Outputs of 125hp from 6,500rpm and 112lb ft of torque from 3,000rpm may not sound like particularly racy figures, nor will the 8.0-second 0-62 time or 127mph top speed set pulses racing on paper. But, as our EnduroKa exploits this year have demonstrated, in something so light and pared back it doesn't take a great deal of show to result in plenty of go.
Today's Spotted was a rare sight on UK circuits when new, as one of just three Lupo Cup cars brought to these shores by Milton Keynes VW, but now finds itself rarer still with one of the trio having been written-off in a crash. Having enjoyed success in the Dunlop Sport Max Cup, where it won its class, the car has proven pedigree, the cachet of rarity, and the hype that surrounds limited-edition VW fare, all of which results in a price tag of £15,995. And if you're thinking you might save a few grand by tracking down that other remaining UK car, don't bother - the same seller owns that one, too.
SPECIFICATION - VOLKSWAGEN LUPO CUP
Engine: 1,600cc four-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 125@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 112@3,000rpm
First registered: 2000
Recorded mileage: 3,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £15,995