The Volkswagen Up GTi has been revealed and, with 115hp, it packs more power than the original Golf GTi.
Set to go on sale in international markets in early 2018, the new Up GTi is the latest member of what Volkswagen officials recently suggested to our sister publication, Autocar UK, will become a larger and more prominent line-up of powered-up GTi models in future years. It arrives well into the latter half of the first-generation Up’s planned seven-year life cycle, providing the German carmaker with its first serious rival to the likes of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Vauxhall Adam S.
The new model receives an upgraded engine, greater downforce, and a revised suspension – all claimed to see it rise well above regular Up models in outright performance and handling terms.
Power is provided by a 115hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged, direct-injection petrol engine. It is backed up by 199Nm of torque between 2,000-3,500rpm.
Volkswagen is taking up the technical specification of the Up GTi’s engine, which also resides in the entry-level version of the recently facelifted seventh-generation Golf. Along with a stop/start and energy recuperation system, it receives a particulate filter that enables the compact three-cylinder to meet the new WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) emission standard.
A further development adopted by the new range-topping Up model is a so-called sound actuator. It provides a synthetically generated exhaust note aimed at enhancing the aural qualities of the 999cc unit.
Power is sent to the front wheels via a closely stacked six-speed manual gearbox. Volkswagen claims a 0-100kph time of 8.8sec and a top speed of 196kph.
A series of stylistic upgrades transforms the look of the Up, providing it with many of the classic GTi cues used by Volkswagen down through the years. Included is a new front bumper with additional cooling vents, round fog lamps with cornering light function and a plastic honeycomb grille insert. Above it is a GTi badge and the characteristic horizontal red feature line in the space between the headlamps.
Also included are GTi badges within the trailing section of the front fenders, adhesive stripes along the lower section of the doors, high-gloss black exterior mirror caps, standard 17-inch ‘Brands Hatch’ design wheels, and red painted front brake calipers. At the rear, there’s a uniquely styled spoiler atop the tailgate, together with a redesigned bumper featuring an altered valance within its lower section housing a single, round chromed tailpipe.
Along with the three-door version, Volkswagen has confirmed the Up GTi will also be available in five-door guise. Buyers can choose between five exterior colours – Tornado Red, Pure White, Dark Silver, Black Pearl and, new to the GTi line-up, Costa Azul. With the exception of Black Pearl, the new Volkswagen will also be available with an optional contrasting black roof.
The interior features a unique ‘red pixel’ trim within the dashboard, plaid check fabric upholstered front seats, a black roof liner, a multi-function flat-bottom steering wheel with red stitching, along with number of unique touches.
Among the standard equipment for the new Volkswagen model are a Composition infotainment system with six-speakers, a USB interface, air conditioning, heated seats, as well as electrical adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, and the aforementioned fog lamps with so-called static cornering lights.