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VW Up GTI unveiled: return of the rollerskate!

Published: 19 May 2017

► New VW Up GTI unveiled
► Powered by 113bhp turbo
► On sale early 2018 

The small Volkswagen pocket rocket is back! You're looking at the new VW Up GTI warm hatch, unveiled ahead of its showroom launch in early 2018.

It's the go-faster treat for this year's Worthersee hot hatch festival in Austria, heavily sponsored by the Volkswagen group.

113bhp... So the new VW Up GTI isn't that hot?

No. But Wolfsburg is keen to point out it's similar in concept to the original 1976 Mk1 VW Golf GTI, which boasted a humble 109bhp. You can see the new Up GTI alongside the original Golf hot hatch in an official video below.


The new 2018 Up GTI is powered by the company's turbocharged 999cc three-cylinder TSI engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, making 113bhp and a sturdy 170lb ft of torque. Thanks to a low 997kg kerbweight, it's enough for 0-62mph in 8.8sec. VW claims a top speed of 122mph.

You'll spot the GTI by its red stripes in the honeycomb radiator grille, GTI badging, chunky 17-inch alloys wearing low-profile sporting rubber and go-faster stripes. Choose from a three- or five-door bodystyle.

Will the Up GTI handle?

The ride height is dropped by 15mm and there's a modest roof spoiler to provide greater downforce, although we suspect this is more cosmetic than functional at this level of the marketplace.

Inside the cabin of the new 2018 VW Up GTI

And inside - rejoice! - there's the same tartan seat trim you'll find in big brother, the Golf GTI. Note also the sporting, leather-wrapped steering wheel and red, pebble-dashed trim adorning the dashboard.

When can I buy a Volkswagen Up GTI?

There's a bit of a wait until you can get your hands on an Up GTI: sales aren't scheduled to start until early 2018. We expect prices to start at around £13,500-£14,000 in the UK.

The Wörthersee festival runs from 24 to 27 May 2017.

Read our VW reviews here 

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet