Six years after its presentation, Volkswagen has finally decided to develop a GTI version of its little Up! It has already been presented to some journalists in the form of a prefiguring concept car at the beginning of the year. The same concept car is currently being presented at the Wörthersee 2017; the annual German event entirely dedicated to Volkswagen Group vehicles. The final version is expected in early 2018.
Better late than never
Since its presentation in 2011, we’ve always thought that a GTI version would go like a glove to the little Up, and Volkswagen has often whetted our appetite with sports concept cars based on its small city car. But nothing ever came.
When the GTI version of the Up! is released in 2018, it will be 7 years since the Up! was introduced. The little Volkswagen will then begin the final stretch of her career before being replaced in 2019 or 2020. So why is GTI coming so late?
The competition is there
Everything suggests that Volkwagen had found a GTI version of the Up! unnecessary if only Abarth was present in the mini-sport segment with the 595. The German brand had to wake up in 2016 when Renault developed a GT version of its Twingo and its Smart Fortwo twin was presented in a Brabus version. These two cars have the same 110 hp 0.9L 3-cylinder engine.
Certainly, for fear that a small bomb war would not start without it, the Up! once again inflated its 1.0L TSI engine and donned the clothes of its glorious ancestor, the Golf I GTI. The latter, presented in 1976, had 110 hp under the hood, and a featherweight of 810 kg. The Up! weighs almost 200 kg more! But it accelerates faster and goes faster than its ancestor. Although today’s security requirements will certainly have mitigated this advantage. Below, the official Volkswagen video showing us a little duel between the 1976 Golf GTI and the 2017 Up! GTI Concept. 41 years apart separate these two cars!