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Officially on sale in Europe: 2018 VW Up! GTI is a 113 HP gem of a hot hatch

2018 VW Up! GTI

If it’s a small runabout car with the soul of a sports car that you want, be prepared to get jealous as the 2018 Volkswagen Up GTI is now for sale in Europe.

For young drivers, cheap running costs, affordable insurance and something easy to park are priorities. Not only does the 2018 Volkswagen Up GTI deliver on all three of those things, it’s also surprisingly fun. But we won’t get it here in the United States, unfortunately. According to Volkswagen and their official press release they dropped earlier today (Dec. 5, 2017) the Volkswagen Up! GTI is officially on sale in Europe and costs just $20,096 equivalent US currency. Check out a couple of photos from their press release below.

Being a young driver myself, I’m always intrigued by small, fun to drive cars that other countries enjoy. As such, the VW Up! GTI definitely measured a blip on my radar. Earlier back in May, Top Gear called the Up! GTI a reincarnation of the MK1 Golf GTI, as well as a back to basics, return to fun.

This is a GTI aimed at a younger customer. It doesn’t have much power, and the grip reserves are reassuring.

A look at the tale of the tape confirms that this little hatch has all the right ingredients for some proper driving. Underneath the hood is a turbocharged three-cylinder good for 113 HP, and most importantly, 147 lb-ft. The dash to 60 MPH takes just 8.8 seconds and if you put your foot in it long enough, you’ll eventually see 122 MPH.

Outside, it’s easy to point out a GTI over a normal UP! as there’s that signature red cross strip across the front of the grill, there’s a GTI logo in front and out back, and there’s a double black stripe across the side. As is the trend for small cars, this little Up! GTI has a set of 17-inch wheels wrapped around some 195 mm width tires so proper grip is always at hand.

Inside, Volkswagen has kept things as affordable as possible but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a set of Tartan cloth seats (they come standard.) The leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob are from a Golf GTI and everything is laid out quite nicely.

Although we won’t get the Up! GTI in the United States, I’ll be keen to see how journalists treat some of the first ones to roll off the production line.


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