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Fans of old school hot hatches rejoice!

Volkswagen has revealed details on its upcoming Up! GTI, a back-to-basics runabout that draws parallels to the 1976 Golf GTI Mk1 and will compete with the Abarth 595.

The Volkswagen Up! GTI packs a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine punching out 85kW and 230Nm. Not much, but consider the tiny hatch only weighs 997kg. V-max is 197km/h and the claimed 0-100km/h acceleration time is 8.8 seconds.

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By comparison, the original Golf GTI had 81kW and weighed 810kg, scuttling to 100 km/h in 9.0 seconds.

The Volkswagen Up! GTI you see here is a near-production concept that’ll make its public premiere at the annual GTI Meet at Lake Wörthersee on May 24.

Fitted is the “typical insignia” of a GTI, including red stripes in the radiator grille, seat covers in tartan pattern and paint options limited to flat red, flat white, or metallic silver, black or light blue.

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Volkswagen claims the 15mm lower, and stiffer, Up! GTI will “certainly bring a new dimension of driving fun to the compact class”, with the agility of a go-kart.

“The fact is: this GTI does not just look like one – it also drives like one. A new original,” VW claims.

The production version of the Up! GTI will be launched into the market in early 2018.

Volkswagen Studie up! GTI

Australia

Here’s the cool part. Volkswagen Australia is making no bones about its desire to bring more GTI performance cars to our market.

One strategy is the planned launch of various special editions like this one, and this one.

So, while the regular Up! is no longer sold here due to zero demand, the hotted-up GTI is understood to be on the table. Not confirmed, but being considered.

Want it to come here? Let us know below.  

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