By David Whinyates on 2017-05-19 - David helped set up Driving Force while motoring editor of the Teesside Gazette. Now acts as consultant motoring editor and is a co-owner of Driving Force Media Ltd.
VW's GTI on the way up!
VOLKSWAGEN is going back to the future with the latest incarnation of its iconic GTI range.
The German maker is turning the clock back more than 40 years with a new model which has pretty much the same power output and performance as the original Golf GTI which was first launched back in 1976.
The original Golf GTI came with a 110 PS engine which powered a car weighing just 810 kg and accelerated it to 62mph in 9.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 113mph.
It's come a long way since then - the latest Performance model pushes out 245PS for a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds and top speed of 155mph.
But the newcomer is no detuned version of the GTI of legend - it's a brand new model.
For VW is giving the GTI treatment to the diminutive up! city car to create something which, the company says, will have agility akin to a go-kart.
Astonishingly, the new up! GTI boasts pretty similar performance credentials to the original Golf.
It is driven by a 115PS turbocharged engine and although it weighs significantly more than the Mk1 Golf GTI at 997 kg it is also faster, accelerating from standstill to 62mph in 8.8 seconds with a top speed of 122mph.
Scheduled for production early next year, it is being shown in prototype form at this year's traditional GTI Meet at Lake Worthersee in Austria (May 24-27).
Volkswagen promises that this most powerful up! will maintain the GTI spirit and be immediately recognisable with typical GTI insignia including a red stripe across a honeycomb patterned radiator grille with GTI logo.
Under the skin, the up! GTI sits on 17 inch alloys and features sports running gear which lowers the body by 15 mm.
The interior includes a leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, a GTI gear knob and the legendary "clark" tartan seat pattern as featured in the original Golf GTI..
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