Published on May 21st, 2017 | by Subhash Nair0
Volkswagen’s Up! GTI Appointed the Spiritual Successor to the Original GTI
This year, Volkswagen is presenting a compact, sporty car very much in the spirit of the original GTI – the new up! GTI.
The concept and power output of the 115 PS up! are broadly in line with the Golf GTI MkI presented in 1976 that had 110 PS. The near-production concept car pays tribute to this icon – with compact dimensions, a low weight, a powerful engine, sports running gear and the typical insignia of a GTI (including red stripes in the radiator grille, seat covers in “clark” tartan pattern).
This sporty small car will certainly bring a new dimension of driving fun to the compact class. A typical GTI feature is the sophisticated sports running gear. It gives the car the agility akin to that of a go-kart, yet it also offers a high level of comfort. The production version of the up! GTI will be launched into the market in early 2018.
With the up! GTI, Volkswagen is building a bridge that spans four decades: when the first GTI was launched in the 1970s it democratised access to fast roads around the world – especially the overtaking lane of German motorways. Where large saloons and expensive sports cars had previously set the pace, the new compact Volkswagen suddenly stirred up the field.
The red stripe in the radiator grille, the black double stripes across the side sills and behind, the black stripe on the tailgate immediately identified this Volkswagen as a GTI. Its 110 PS powered a kerb weight of just 810 kg and accelerated it to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds. Top speed: 182 km/h. The colours for the market launch: “mars red” and “diamond silver”. Later, white and black also became established as GTI colours.
The new up! GTI continues the creed of the lightweight and no-frills sports car with a compact format – from outside and inside similar in size to the original GTI. It is driven by a turbocharged engine (TSI) with powerful 200 Nm torque. The key data do indeed read like a Golf GTI MkI catapulted into the present day. Weight: 997 kg (significantly high-strength steels and more airbags). Vmax: 197 km/h. 0-100 km/h: 8.8 seconds. Colours: classic once again and typical of the GTI – the plain colours “tornado red” and “pure white” and the metallic colours “dark silver”, “black pearl” and – as a new GTI colour – “costa azul” (blue).
The most powerful up! to date is immediately recognisable with its typical GTI insignia. At the front for instance the red stripe across the radiator grille with honeycomb pattern. Integrated above it is the GTI logo. Here the up! cites the archetypal GTI with features such as the double stripes across the wide side sill panels. The exterior mirror caps are in high-gloss black; the 17-inch alloy wheels have also been completely redesigned.
They have a particularly dashing look in the wheel housings because the up! GTI features sports running gear, lowering the body by 15 mm. GTI features also characterise the rear: here, among other things, a red strip as well as a larger roof edge spoiler provides for greater downforce on the rear axle for optimised handling performance at higher speeds. The interior includes features as a leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, a GTI gear knob and the legendary “clark” seat pattern. The fact is: this GTI does not just look like one – it also drives like one. A new original.