Expected to rival the Opel Adam S and Fiat 500 Abarth, the newest model to wear the famed GTI badge features the same 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine as the regular up!, but aided by a turbocharger to produce 85 kW and 200 Nm of torque. Mated to a close ratio six-speed manual gearbox and tipping the scales at 997 kg, Volkswagen claims the up! GTI will dispatch the 0-100 km/h mark in 8.8 seconds, and reach a top speed of 197 km/h.
Aside from being more powerful than the original Golf GTI despite weighing more, the up! GTI also gets updated suspension, a 15 mm drop in ride height compared to the standard car, 17-inch Brands Hatch alloy wheels, unique bodykit, black mirror caps, red brake calipers, honeycomb grille and red-lipped grille with GTI badging.
Available only as a five-door, interior differences versus the standard up! consist of a leather wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, check fabric seats, round gear knob and GTI sill plates. Pricing the United Kingdom is expected to start at around £15 000 (R258 926), although it remains to be seen whether it will come to South Africa in due course.