In case you couldn’t tell I’m quite a fan of small sporty cars, especially those with a famous three letters behind the name. In fact, I happen to like them so much so, that I awarded the new Volkswagen Up! GTI the top spot on my annual ‘top seven cars of the year‘ list. I also awarded it to the Mk1 Golf GTI, but I make the rules, OK?
Why did I crown the Up! GTI the winner? No, not because it’s the only car in history to have two sentences in its name. Have a little think about that one…
No, it’s because it has the recipe to make a properly fun little machine. Modern hot hatches are number obsessed. Be it horsepower, cornering G-force, transmission shift times, and not to mention the time it takes for them to cover a certain 13-mile race track in the heart of Germany.
This baby GTI bucks the trend, however, with a tiny 3-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre engine and lashings of retro-infused style. Just look at it, cute, but aggressive – kind of like a kickboxing kitten.
Now those of you who regularly read ESM will know that we started talking about this car almost a year ago when it was merely a concept. Then when the top brass at VW gave it the go-ahead, I had the audacity to give it the top spot on my cars of the year list. Now, in the next stage of the Up! GTI story, UK prices have been released with orders already being taken. So many orders that dealers are now reporting potential waits of up to 12 months.
Prices for the Up! GTI starts at £13,750 for a bog standard 3-door car. That price gets you everything you could possibly need really, with chunky 17″ wheels, tartan interior and six-speed manual being standard across the range.
The colour chart is classic GTI spec, with the available colours being red, white, silver and black. Although if you want anything other than Tornado Red you will have to stump up at least another £250, whilst a black roof adds an extra £125.
If you get a bit carried away with the options – I mean, do you really need that kayak holder? – then a 5-door black GTI can cost up to £19,500. But if you’re more sensible, £16k will get you metallic paintwork, air-con, Beats audio, cruise control, parking sensors and a sunroof. What more could you ask for?
For those of you who don’t have tens of thousands of pounds lying around, finance options start from less than £140 per month. Although prices for this vary hugely depending on deposit, so it’s best to do your own research. Before you ask, no, I am not getting one. As much as I’d love to, the student budget doesn’t quite stretch this far.
Well, there we have it. All that’s left to do is sit back and wait until they start appearing on our roads, most likely on fancy new 18-plates.