For example, it's only now that its flagship GTI version is reaching dealership in Great Britain, and for that matter we're more interested in the fact that United Kingdom customers can also park in their driveway the top of the range Performance variant.
For VW is giving the GTI treatment to the diminutive up! city auto to create something which, the company says, will have agility akin to a go-kart. To be launched at the legendary Worthersee GTI meet, the Up GTI features an uprated version of the standard car's turbocharged 1.0-litre three cylinder engine producing 113bhp and 169lb ft of torque. 41 years on from the original, Volkswagen's keen to conjure up the spirit of the past, with a sporty, nimble vehicle that puts fun over fast. And, yes, those comparisons to the Mk1 Golf GTI are rather irresistible, given the Up GTI's comparable size, modest 115hp output and sub-tonne kerbweight. Anxious that's not enough?
It's that power figure which leads Volkswagen to say that the Up GTI "follows the genetic heritage" of the Mk1 Golf GTI - with just 5bhp difference between the two cars, performance figures are very close-run. GTI will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds before hitting a top speed of 197 km/h. Modest figures, yes. But ones that make it a vehicle with accessible performance in the real world.
There's a 15mm suspension drop and some general tinkering underneath to sharpen it up, but it's already an uncommonly good vehicle to drive as standard.
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We've known about this auto for a while now, but it's, err, still not here.
The suspension drop certainly makes it look a bit meaner, mind. The devil will be in the detail of calibration and only apparent once we get to drive a full production example but the signs have to be encouraging, especially if VW nails the price point and makes sure affordability is another hot hatch tradition to be maintained.
Unless VW's had a serious off day, this promises to be a thoroughly good vehicle. Reckon it's a victor?
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