New 2018 Volkswagen up! GTI: official specs and video


VW's up! city car finally gets the GTI treatment, with 113bhp, 200Nm of torque and a reveal at the Worthersee GTI fan festival

The Volkswagen up! 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.

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The 113bhp served up by the turbocharged three-cylinder is combined with 200Nm of torque, available from 2,000rpm. The engine is one of Volkswagen’s new generation 1.0-litre TSI stop/start units, creeping into new cars across the VW Group’s various brands. Now though, it’s the beating heart of the fastest up! yet. It should deliver a classic three-cylinder thrum, but a sound actuator means that those in the cabin will get a synthetic exhaust note piped through the speakers.

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, while an infotainment system, air-conditioning and ambient lighting will be standard. 

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, ‘sports’ running gear means the whole car sits 15mm lower than the standard version of the city car, and the sporty front and rear bumpers will make the cut when it goes on sale. 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.

What do you think of the new up! GTI? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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