VW has launched a proper GTI version of the Up city car, and now it’s time to find out whether it deserves that badge or not.
The company wants you to think the new Up GTI as a modern reincarnation of the original Golf GTI. If this sounds like too far-fetched, consider that the two cars are similar both in size and performance.
Power comes from a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder TSI engine that makes 113hp and 170lb-ft of torque. The 0-62mph (100km/h) sprint takes 8.8 seconds and the Up GTI won’t stop accelerating until it hits a respectable 122mph (196km/h).
Three-cylinder engines always produced a rather special, almost boxer-like, soundtrack, and the Up GTI is no exception – and that, in our books, is a big plus.
Of course, being a modern GTI means that the range-topping Up comes packed with all the kit you could want from a car this size. On the other hand, what’s even more important, especially from a VW wearing the GTI badge, is how it fares on winding roads/
It’s not that we often get to have a car of this size with such clear sporting aspirations. The only similarly-sized rivals the moment are the more powerful and expensive Fiat 500 Abarth, the Opel Adam S and the Renault Twingo GT.
So, does the sportiest Up really deserve that GTI badge, or is VW’s marketing department trying to make the exploit the moniker’s rich history? Let’s hear what Auto Express has to say about that.