Say Hello To The New VW Up GTI

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Yes, it's got Volkswagen's most hallowed hot hatch badge upon its snout, alongside all of the GTI hallmarks, with a red-striped grille and tartan seats inside. 41 years on from the original, Volkswagen's keen to conjure up the spirit of the past, with a sporty, nimble auto that puts fun over fast.

With a production version confirmed for the near future, the Up GTI will use a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged engine with a power output of 113bhp and 147lb ft peak torque. Anxious that's not enough? The lightweight, no frills nature of the auto is reminiscent of the original Golf GTI which weighed 1,785 lbs and had 108 hp on tap.

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Acceleration from standstill to "hundreds" takes 8.8 seconds, top speed of almost 200 kilometers per hour. Despite the performance, the vehicle is said to have low fuel consumption and emissions, thanks to automatic engine stop/start, regenerative braking and one of Volkswagen's first uses of a particulate filter on a petrol engine.

We've known about this auto for a while now, but it's, err, still not here. The GTI upgrade is predictably subtle but does enough to make this Up look "proper", we reckon. There'll be a five-door too, mind.

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Just last week we revealed Volkswagen are about to launch a new GTi, and this time it would be for the Up! The devil will be in the detail of calibration and only apparent once we get to drive a full production example but the signs have to be encouraging, especially if VW nails the price point and makes sure affordability is another hot hatch tradition to be maintained.

Unless VW's had a serious off day, this promises to be a thoroughly good auto.

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