Volkswagen GT up!

Volkswagen GT up! Concept

According to Autocar UK, Volkswagen is looking to make a GTI version of its entry-level up! Should the German carmaker conceive such a model, the hot city car will go up against the Fiat Abarth 595.

Officials at Volkswagen’s engineering headquarters in Braunschweig, Germany told Autocar UK that the secret new GTI model will employ a more powerful version of the company’s 1.0 litre turbocharged TSI three-cylinder engine.

On the recently facelifted up!, the EA211 delivers 90 PS and 160 Nm. However, the mill in the Golf TSI BlueMotion outputs 115 PS and 200 Nm. Put two and two together, and you’re looking at some serious performance for the sub-1000 kg city car.

The engine is said to come with a choice of either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG. Prototypes of the up! GTI can apparently hit a top speed of 200 km/h, and will make the century sprint in around eight seconds when fitted with the dual-clutch box.

Volkswagen GT up!

Whether this level of performance is enough to compete against the 595 Abarth, we’ll have to see. The Fiat packs the 1.4 litre T-Jet engine. Depending on transmission choice (manual or automated manual), the mill provides up to 142 PS.

Chassis improvements on the up! GTI include a significantly revised suspension setup, with the front MacPherson struts and rear torsion beam receiving their own spring and damper rates. Expect a lower ride height as a result of these modifications as well.

As for aesthetics, the high-performance up! should also get GTI-specific exterior styling for both the three- and five-door body styles. New bumpers, larger 16-inch wheels (with 205/40 tyres), wider sills and twin chrome tailpipes are just some of the highlights.

This isn’t the first time Volkswagen has hinted at a hotter up! variant – during the launch of the original up! at the Frankfurt Motor Show way back in 2011, Wolfsburg unveiled the GT up! Concept, a sportier version with a bodykit, larger wheels and a 100 PS engine.

GALLERY: Volkswagen up! facelift