At this year’s GTI Meet at Lake Wörthersee Volkswagen are treating their fans to something quite special. The VW Up! GTI Concept is a tribute to the original Golf GTI boasting the same kind of performance figures and design cues. Granted, it’s still very much an Up! city car, but the idea is intriguing.
Actually, VW Up! GTI Concept is more than just an idea. Volkswagen will released a production version of this hot pocket rocket in early 2018. As for what makes it a Golf GTI tribute, well, the car packs a turbocharged engine (TSI) with powerful 230 Nm torque and 115 horsepower. Those are pretty much what the daddy Golf used to offer. What’s more, in spite of having a more rigid built and tons more equipment, the Up! weighs only 997 kg, which again is very GTI-ish. Performance-wise, the concept goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and tops out at 197 km/h – (original GTI 0 to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds, top speed: 182 km/h).
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That’s all great, but the thing that made the original Golf GTI such a hit was not how much power it had but rather how it delivered whatever power it had. They promise the VW Up! GTI Concept is just as fun to drive, but we won’t know that for sure until the production version comes out. In terms of design as well the Up! pays homage to the OG with highlights such as red stripe across the radiator grille with honeycomb pattern and double stripes across the wide side sill panels. It also gets gloss black mirror caps, 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered ride height, a larger roof edge spoiler, a leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, a GTI gear knob and the legendary “clark” seat pattern.