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New Metal | Volkswagen Up GTI Concept

We seem to have been teased for years about a possible hot version of VW’s city car. Finally, we’re almost there, with the announcement of this production-ready concept.

2017 Volkswagen Up GTI Concept

The ‘concept’ tag needs to be taken pretty lightly. From the details released, and the photos supplied by Volkswagen, this thing looks as close to being fit for human consumption as possible. Come 2018 you’ll be able to take home an Up GTI from your local VW dealership, and we’ll be very surprised if it looks different to this. We’re still mildly disappointed that Volkswagen didn’t take our suggestion of naming it the ‘Power Up’ though.

2017 Volkswagen Up GTI Concept

Power comes from a tuned version of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine used in the normal Up. However, it’s been boosted to deliver 113hp and 148lb-ft of torque. Granted in 2017 that doesn’t sound like a great deal for a hot hatch, when the latest Mk7.5 Golf GTI packs almost 227hp, and the Golf R is endowed with over 305hp. So why would we be getting excited about a city car with so little power, even if it does have a six-speed manual gearbox?

2017 Volkswagen Up GTI Concept

Volkswagen is keen to play up the similarities between the Up GTI and the original Mk1 Golf GTI. That 1976 car used a 1.6-litre engine, producing 110hp, and was able to do 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds, plus a top speed of 113mph. By contrast, the Up GTI is even quicker, doing 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds, and topping out at a claimed 122mph. On paper at least, it therefore beats the most thumbed page in the Volkswagen GTI history book. A low weight of 997kg for the Up GTI compares favourably to a Golf from 40 years ago, which tipped the scales at just 810kg. (more…)

New Volkswagen up! Special Editions

EngageSportMode is a genuine fan of the Volkswagen up!. When we tested the base-model Take up! last year, we were hugely impressed with its value for money, perky performance and VW quality. We suggested that should you want a new city-car, you had no other viable option.

It’s also worth pointing out that we were a little bit amused by some of the names Volkswagen had come up with for the up!’s trim-levels. However, in a world where a major car manufacturer sees fit to call a car Adam, then clearly any sense when it comes to nomenclature has gone out the window.

Along with announcing that the fully electric, and Yorkshire accented, e-up! will hit the UK in 2014, Volkswagen have also announced two new special editions aimed at fans of “loud music, great-looking small cars and questionable puns”. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Groove up! and Rock up! editions!

This is the Rock up! edition. Looks good!

This is the Rock up! edition. Looks good!

The Rock up! features that distinctive anthracite body-stripe, full bodykit and rear spoiler and rolls on 16″ alloy wheels. I think the bigger “Upsilon” rims really give the up! some presence, and makes ESM very excited for a GT or GTI version.

Upping (sorry) the equipment count even higher, the Groove up! comes fitted with a 300w Fender sound system with 6-speakers, amplifier and subwoofer! Further kit includes a leather trimmed (with orange stitching) steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake to complement black seats with more orange stitching. The Groove up! also rolls on the same “Upsilon” wheels as the Rock up!, but the lacks the former’s bodykit.

Both feature the 1.0 litre 3-cylinder engine with 75bhp, with the Groove up! starting at £11,640 whilst the edgier Rock up! costs from £12,980. Buy now, collect in July.

In all seriousness, the up! continues to be ESM’s recommend city-car, and these two cunningly named special-editions just further the appeal. We’re still waiting on the proper sporty offering, hopefully with the beloved 1.2 litre turbo motor! Fingers crossed.