Buyers' advice, Motoring News, new models, sports cars, VW

Back on the road again: All the fun of first Golf GTi

  • Could this be the most desirable VW yet?
  • Baby bruiser Go! gets the full GTI treatment
  • Two- or three-door hatch style, one turbo engine
2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress
2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress

MILTON KEYNES, England – A small car that, in some markets, is being described as ”one of the most keenly anticipated new cars of 2018”, is already in showrooms in right-hand drive form in the UK.

It’s the hot, hot, hot VW UP! GTi priced, in the UK at least, at the equivalent of R233 240. Sad thing is that VW SA tells The Corner that the car will not be imported in any form: we’ve asked VW SA to enlarge on that decision and hope to bring the answer soon.

Meanwhile, read on to find out what we will be missing…

VW UK reports that, since its international launch, the newest car with the seductive red badging has been named by the BBC’s Top Gear show as “pocket rocket of the year” and the British CAR magazine has given the four-seater a five-star verdict after their initial experience.

2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress
2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress

More outlandish is GQ, which ordained the little hotshot with a ‘Scream If You Want To Go Faster’ award. And Carman’s Corner reported back in May 2017 that the car was scheduled for the production lines.

TURBO ENGINE, 200km/h

The automaker says the car has joined a heritage of VW GTi and GTI cars that spans three key models and runs with the recently launched Polo GTI, Golf GTI and Golf GTI Performance.

The Baby Bruiser, depending on market, will be available  in a three- or five-door shell but otherwise with only one spec list.

The really important bit is a one-litre, turbocharged, three-cylinder TSI engine capable of 86kW (5000-5500rpm) and 200Nm (2000-3500rpm). Drive goes to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox with the promise of 195km/h and 0-100km/h in 8.8sec with one fuel-consumption test returning 4.8 litres/100km.

READ MORE VW features on Carman’s Corner

The car has a sport suspension thats dropped the standard car by 15 mm versus that of the standard car and, VW UK says, ”conjures up the spirit of the first Golf GTi of 1976 which today’s Up! broadly matches for size and performance”. That was, of course, way before the snappy small Golf hatchback evolved into the bloated plutocrat that it is today.

2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress
2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress

VW UK has also announced a purchase contract rate of £139 (about R2360) a month  based on an Up! GTI three-door. Full details of the finance offer are below.

‘UP! UNMISTAKABLE GTI’

On-the-road retail cash price £13 750 (about R234 000, Feb 2018). The Corner has requested South African pricing from VW SA.

The British media release says: ”The car is styled inside and out to be an unmistakable member of the modern GTI fraternity and has a GTI badge front and rear along with other details synonymous with the GTI – honeycomb front grille, darkened rear side windows and bright-red brake callipers.

”There are also red trim strips front and rear, 17” alloy wheel rimss, a chrome-tipped exhaust and sporty twin sid- stripes that recall the styling of the original ‘1970s Golf hot hatch.”

2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress
2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress

Body colours are also, the automaker says, reminiscent of the Golf that started it all:  white, red, dark silver metallic, and black. Options are a  white, red or silver roof.

The cabin has the traditional red chequered cloth trim, a flat-bottomed multi-function and leather-wrapped steering-wheel and GTI gearshifter knob.

SPECIAL EXHAUST FILTER

”Creature comforts” include a VW ‘Composition Colour’ audio system with a 13cm colour screen, six speakers, Bluetooth phone/audio connection and USB socket, aircon, heatable seats and powered and heatable external mirrors.

Front foul-weather lights and static cornering lights are standard.

The Up! GTI is also, VW says, one of its cars to launch with a close-coupled petrol particulate filter said to reduce particulate emissions by as much as 95%. After flowing through the turbocharger, the exhaust gas goes directly into the filter which, with its special coating, works in parallel to a regular catalytic converter.

2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress
2018 VW UP! GTI: Image: VW UK / Newspress

Geraldine Ingham, head of marketing at VW UK, told The Corner in a media release: “The buzz around our newest GTI is remarkable, and rightly so. This is a wonderful little hot-hatch that truly makes driving fun again.

“That it is so accessibly priced, yet so generously equipped, will I’m sure add to our charming new little pocket rocket’s appeal.”

For more details about the VW Up! GTI, including full equipment, economy and emissions details, go to the VW UK website.

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