This citycar has oomph!
Ok, that title might be a tad optimistic, as although this is a GTI, it's not going to set your hair on fire in terms of pace. Underneath the its small dimensions sits a turbocharged petrol unit which is capable of, wait for it, 108bhp. This does seems a bit underpowered, but it's the same as the original Golf GTI and the ze Germans state that the Up! GTI is a tribute to said car. Plus the car is under a ton, so it doesn't need a massive amount of power.
0-62 comes in a somewhat pedestrian 8.8 seconds and this German pocket rocket will max out at a top speed of 122mph. It's hardly blistering, but I suppose VW doesn't want the performance to be too close to the Polo GTI. Plus, you don't necessarily need lots of power to have fun - just look at the Mazda MX-5.
As well as an increase of power, the Up! GTI features styling cues instantly recognisable from the GTI badge's heritage. This means the front grille has the familiar red stripe running along it with the iconic GTI badge. The inside also has the famous tartan seats and it definitely looks the part. The car has also been dropped by 15mm and sits on chunky 17" alloy wheels.
A little disappointed
Despite all this, I for one am a bit disappointed. I am not an engineer and I never claim to be. God, I can just about change a car battery - with the helps of a health sprinkling of profanity - so who am I really to judge, but... I would have hoped for more power. Yes, the car is light, and I've already said that you don't need big power for motoring fun, but I would have expected more from the Up! GTI. C'mon 0-62 in 8.8 seconds?
This would have been just swell in the 70s, but this is 2017, a time when we tut when our instant coffee machine seems to take forever to spit out a latte. A GTI with that kind of sprint speed in this era just seems wrong, does it not? What are your thoughts? Does the Up! GTI deserve to wear the badge?