The Volkswagen Golf GTI of today isn’t quite what it was when it first arrived in the UK in 1985.
Granted, a lot of us have changed over the course of more than three decades and that’s the case for VW’s small family car supermini too, which has become progressively larger and heavier with each iteration.
As such, the original Golf GTI’s ethos of being a compact, lightweight pocket rocket isn’t what it was. These days, the Up is the dinkiest model in the VW range, which makes it perfect for reviving those original intentions.
So say hi to the VW Up GTI, which has just been priced ahead of its February arrival.
For those already clued-up and sold on the idea, we’ll tell you now that you can have one for the surprisingly low fee of £13,750, or £14,150 if you fancy the five-door model.
That’s much less than most would have expected considering direct rivals such as the Fiat 500 Abarth and Vauxhall Adam S cost upwards of £15,510 and £18,720 respectively.
It won’t be breaking any land speed records, playing with just 113bhp from a single-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. However, it is designed to be an homage to the original Golf GTI, with similar dimensions, weight and performance.
‘How similar’ you ask? Well, the Golf GTI mk1 produced 108bhp from a 1.6-litre four-pot petrol engine and weighed 810kg, while the 113bhp Up GTI tips the scales at 997kg.
Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the Up GTI’s one-litre TSI can whip the car from zero to 62mph in 8.8 seconds with a 122mph top speed, which is quicker than the nine-second sprint that was possible in the 113mph Golf GTI.
The standard Up is a decent looking city car but to reflect its sharper performance, VW has equipped it with some styling upgrades, such as 17-inch Brands Hatch alloy wheels, red front brake callipers, a new front bumper with additional cooling vents, round fog lamps, a plastic honeycomb grille insert and a flurry of GTI badges, not to mention the traditional tartan seat coverings.
You can order the Up GTI from February 6th.