Volkswagen up! GTI: following legendary tyre tracks
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You can’t stroll into a dealership and buy a new Mk 1 Golf GTI anymore, but Volkswagen say its spirit and genetic heritage is still on offer with the latest modern day iteration of the classic hatch – the new up! GTI.
The diminutive city car hasn't had the GTI treatment before, and we're excited to see how this turns out.
It promises 85kW and 230Nm, which is a smidgen more than the original Mk1 Golf. But in terms of the power-to-weight ratio, and of course power and weight in real terms, the Up is actually pretty similar to the 1975 car.
And look at it – the red detailing around the grille is a fantastic theme that runs through all 40 or so years of Golf GTI heritage. The black stripe on the side is another indicator that this Up is more than the three-pot runabout it was meant to be.
Look inside. The seats are upholstered in "clark" tartan pattern, and there's a hint of that red line motif being brought into the cabin via delicate stitching on the steering wheel.
We haven't seen the car in real life, but we've previously found the Up to be nicely appointed. We're slightly miffed at the lack of golf ball gear knob, though!
There's a GTI logo on the honeycomb grille, as well as the aforementioned red stripe. The wing mirrors are clad in shiny black, there's a chunkier roof spoiler (which Volkswagen says will help the handling) and 17-inch alloy wheels.
We think it looks fantastic, by the way. It's subtle, because the original Mk1 Golf GTI was subtle.
Will it happen? Well, it's just a concept for now, but yes. It'll make its debut at this year's GTI Meet, an annual Volkswagen event at Lake Wörthersee, next weekend (24th to 27th May 2017).
Volkswagen have also confirmed a production model of the up! GTI will is planed for an early 2018 launch.