Say Hello To The New VW Up GTI

Hooray! The VW Up GTI is a real thing

Do you yearn for the simple, old school driving thrills of a Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI, but also want a vehicle that's built in the 21st century and comes with, y'know, a warranty? GTI concept isn't almost as quick or as powerful as the GTI we all know and love today.

For VW is giving the GTI treatment to the diminutive up! city auto to create something which, the company says, will have agility akin to a go-kart.

Although the new Up GTI is officially a concept, Volkswagen makes no secret that this is a "near-production concept", and says a production version will go on sale early in 2018. That "ur-GTI" produced slightly less at 108 hp, weighed more at almost 2,200 lbs, yet somehow ran a slightly better (but roughly comparable) 0-62 time of 8.8 seconds but topped out at 113 miles per hour. Which makes sense when you consider that the Up GTI features similar dimensions and power to its 40-year-old ancestor.

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Acceleration from standstill to "hundreds" takes 8.8 seconds, top speed of almost 200 kilometers per hour. That's an increase of 23 horsepower from 89 in the current Up!'s most powerful engine, and it's four horsepower more than the original Mark 1 GTI's 109.

Inside, the Up GTI shares yet more design cue's with other GTIs, including a contemporary take of the classic tartan fabric trim, a flat bottom GTI steering wheel, unique dash trim and GTI badges along the door sills.

The Up GTI also stands out from other Ups thanks to sitting 15mm lower on sports suspension, as well as having a red strip at the rear and a larger roof spoiler. It reminds us a bit of the #PinkBeetle sold here in the U.S. GTI concept at the GTI Meet at Wörthersee this year, with a production version confirmed for early next year. Though the show vehicle is billed as a concept, VW promises a production version to follow early next year. A move helped by its three-door layout, something increasingly rare in the hot hatch sector.