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Hot new 113bhp Volkswagen up! GTI officially breaks cover

Auto Express logo Auto Express 19/05/2017 James Brodie

Volkswagen up! GTI - front

Volkswagen up! GTI
© Auto Express

The Volkswagenup! GTI has been officially revealed and will make its world debut in the metal at the Worthersee GTI festival next week in Austria, packing 113bhp from a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine.

We’ve already driven a prototype, which VW described as a ‘near-production concept car’, but the hot up! has now been fully revealed and you’ll be able to buy it in the UK early in 2018.

The 113bhp served up by the turbocharged three-cylinder is combined with 230Nm of torque. The engine is one of Volkswagen’s new generation 1.0-litre TSI units, creeping into new cars across the VW Group’s various brands. Now though, it’s the beating heart of the fastest up! yet.

Video provided by Carbuyer

Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed gearbox, and the newest, smallest member of Volkswagen’s GTI family can sprint from 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds and will go on to a claimed top speed of 122mph.

Volkswagen leaves no doubt as to how it sees the new up! GTI – it’s a spiritual successor to the original Mk1 Golf GTI. The two cars are separated by 41 years, but on paper, some performance parallels are to be found. The original 1976 Golf GTI boasted 108bhp, enabling 0-62mph in nine seconds flat and a top speed of 113mph. Both cars have a sub-one-tonne curb weight too, but the new up! GTI is slightly portlier, weighing 997kg to the Golf’s 810kg.

Some visual crossovers between the two models exist too – classic GTI paint colours such as ‘tornado red’ and ‘pure white’ will be available, alongside metallic silver and black, plus a new ‘costa azul’ blue tint. The biggest giveaway, though, is in the cabin – the up! GTI will come with trademark GTI tartan seat upholstery. A leather sports steering wheel and a GTI gear knob are also found. 

GTI badging at the front and rear is combined with the classic red radiator grille stripe, while the grille itself is honeycomb pattern and finished in gloss black. Black stripes run down the bottom side sills, and new 17-inch alloy wheels are wedged underneath the wheel arches.

Elsewhere, the mirror caps are finished in gloss black, while around the back, the up! GTI gains a larger roof edge spoiler and a red stripe across the hatch lid. The new spoiler isn’t just for show – VW says it really is there to provide extra downforce over the rear axle. New, as yet undetailed ‘sports’ running gear means the whole car sits 15mm lower than the standard version of the city car. Both three and five-door versions will be available. 

VW has yet to put a firm date on when the up! GTI will hit the market, only suggesting we’ll see it in showrooms early in 2018. No prices have been revealed either, though VW told us during our prototype drive that it’ll be priced at less than €20,000 – so expect a UK price tag of around £17,000 when it goes on sale.


Related: The best non-diesel city cars (Provided by Read Cars)

The Best Non-Diesel City Cars For the UK: It seems like yesterday that we were all told to chuck in our polluting petrol powered dinosaurs for eco-friendly diesel powered ones.Now it turns out that despite the lower CO2 emissions, diesel cars have been emitting way more NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) and CO (Carbon Monoxide) than their petrol counterparts which is potentially even more damaging to the environment.They also have to burn off particulate matter as it builds up in the exhaust system over time.This has prompted the government to once again look into ways of reducing the number of diesel cars on our roads.So here we are, diesel is now the enemy and the possible introduction of an additional £10 congestion charge for cars not meeting Euro 6 emissions regulations means that owners of older vehicles are going to be hit hardest financially.Rumours of scrappage schemes and financial incentives to trade-in older death dealing diesels means that now would be a good time to take a look at what non-diesel options are out there.Our list covers a range of petrol, hybrid and electric powered cars from tiny puddle jumpers to some really sporting machines.Keep in mind that while the average mpg will be higher in petrol cars their NOx and CO emissions are lower. Let’s get clicking: The best non-diesel city cars

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