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New GTI has VW lineup on up!-swing

up! GTI Concept is similar to original GTI in size, power and looks

Published: May 19, 2017, 10:30 PM
Updated: May 24, 2017, 6:41 AM

Volkswagen up! GTI Concept

Volkswagen up! GTI concept rear

Attendees of the annual Lake Wörthersee GTI gathering next weekend will be the first to see the up! GTI — the newest GTI — in person.

Scheduled for distribution early in 2018, the up! GTI is promoted as a tribute to the first GTI introduced 41 years ago. Proof of that lies in the up! GTI Concept’s 114-hp turbocharged engine, which is not too far removed from the 1976 Golf GTI Mk1’s 108 hp. That’s not a lot by today’s standards, but its enough to pull the up! GTI to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and up to a top speed of 197 km/h.

And the suspension has been tuned to GTI expectations, bestowing the manners of a go-kart, says Volkswagen, while keeping occupants comfortable on long distance runs.

Volkswagen up! GTI concept interior

Also in the spirit of the original, the up! GTI is roughly the same size as the first GTI and features design cues like the traditional GTI insignia, red stripe in the honeycomb grille, black double stripes across the lower bodysides, and interior leather steering wheel, GTI shift knob and seats covered in “clark” tartan.

The exterior colours are Tornado Red, Pure White, Dark Silver Metallic, Black Pearl Metallic and Costa Azul Metallic (new to GTI). The original launched in Mars Red, Diamond Silver and, later, white and black.

And befitting a GTI, the up! GTI sits atop the up! Line, making it the most powerful to date. Other features include high-gloss black mirror caps, large roof-edge spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels reminiscent of the GTI, making the car hug the ground thanks to a suspension lowering of 15 mm.