Report: VW plans Up! GTI

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2011 Volkswagen up! GT Concept

2011 Volkswagen up! GT Concept

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With Volkswagen’s entry-level Up! minicar now past the midway point in its life cycle, the German automaker is reportedly looking to spice things up by finally adding a performance-oriented version to the range.

According to Autocar, the performance-oriented Up! will wear the storied GTI badge and be marketed under the heading of “affordable performance.”

The car is to counter other hot minis such as the Fiat 500 Abarth and MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop.

Power is said to be coming from the new turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine VW introduced to its recently updated Up! range, with drive to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch.

2011 Volkswagen up! GT Concept

2011 Volkswagen up! GT Concept

Enlarge Photo

The new 3-cylinder in its most potent setting produces 88 horsepower but for the Up! GTI the output is expected to be dialed up to around 113 hp. Such an output is still substantially lower than what rivals offer but recall that the Up! only weighs about 2,050 pounds.

Prototypes are said to already be in testing with 0-62 mph times of about 8.0 seconds and top speeds of 124 mph already clocked. Not exactly thrilling numbers but more than enough for around town where such a car would spend most of its time.

VW first hinted at a hot Up! in 2011 with its Up! GT concept (shown above). Some of the concept’s features, such as the aero kit, dual-exhaust tips and 17-inch alloys, are likely to make it over to any Up! GTI.

There’s no word on when the vehicle might be launched and since the Up! isn’t sold in the United States we don’t expect any GTI version to make it these shores.


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