Deliveries will begin early next year
The automaker has begun pre-sales of the tiny performance car in Germany, where the up! GTI starts at €16,975 (around $20,000). That also makes it one of the most affordable hot hatches on the market.
The first ever VW up! to sport the GTI badge comes with the most powerful engine available on the city car: a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline unit that makes 115 metric horsepower and 200 Nm (147 lb-ft) of torque.
Mated to a six-speed manual transmission the three-pot allows the up! GTI to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 196 km/h (122 mph). And since it must handle like a GTI, the souped-up city car comes with a 15-mm lower sports suspension.
So what else will buyers get for €16,975? First of all, a more muscular body kit courtesy of the 17-inch alloy wheels, bigger roof spoiler, high-gloss black mirror caps and typical GTI details such as the red cross-stripe in the radiator grille with a honeycomb pattern.
Inside, the up! GTI features a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel wrapped in leather, GTI gear lever knob, and the iconic "Clark" seat pattern, among other things.
The up! GTI is the first VW model to gain type approval based on the new Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). What that means is the small hot hatch has a WLTP average fuel consumption of 5.7-5.6 l/100 km, with corresponding CO2 emissions of 129-127 g/km.
For comparison's sake, the NEDC combined cycle rating for the same car is 4.8 l/100 km and 110 g/km.
If an affordable pocket rocket is on your shopping list, you might want to take a look at the 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport too.