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Volkswagen’s Up GTI not for Oz

Upside down: With the discontinuation of the Up model in 2014, Volkswagen Australia will likely never bring the Up GTI Down Under.

Hot micro hatchback revealed in Germany, but 85kW/200Nm Up GTI denied entry to Oz


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22 May 2017

VOLKSWAGEN is set to offer a throwback to its original Golf GTI with the reveal of the similarly-sized performance-fettled Up GTI, but Australians will miss out as the car-maker’s local arm has no plans to bring the pint-sized hero into showrooms Down Under.

Volkswagen Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger confirmed to GoAuto that the recently announced performance model would not make it to local shores despite keen interest from Australian fans.

“There’s been no case made for it and certainly there are no plans for it, but we understand there is huge interest in it,” he said.

“There are no plans for it whatsoever, it hasn’t been considered.”

Although just a pre-production concept for now, Volkswagen will release a showroom-ready version next year in some markets which will be powered by a turbocharged motor producing 85kW of power and 200Nm of torque.

This places the Up GTI ahead of other hot micro hatches including the 74kW/172Nm Kia Picanto GT-Line, which is expected to land in Australian showrooms later this year, the 79kW/175Nm Brabus-tuned Smart ForFour and the 82kW/170Nm Renualt Twingo GT.

Tipping the scales at 997kg, the Up GTI will sprint from zero to 100km/h in 8.8 seconds and, given enough road, will top-out at 197km/h.

Further changes to the Up hatchback include the iconic GTI red stripe across the radiator grille, as well as a double strip decal along the side sills, redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels and gloss black mirror caps.

Denoting its GTI status, the new Up will wear special red badging along its front fenders, and a 15mm lowered ride height and prominent roof-mounted spoiler will aid aerodynamics and handling.

Inside, the three-door hatchback gains a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, GTI gear knob and seat inserts finished in the famous GTI “clark” pattern.

According to Volkswagen, “the new Up GTI continues the creed of the lightweight and no-frills sportscar with a compact format – from outside and inside similar in size to the original GTI”.

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