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Top Gear Looks at VW Up! GTI Ahead of Car of the Year 2017

In about two months, you're going to look at a hot Top Gear magazine cover with lots of cool-looking cars and wonder what that small red hatchback in the background is. Well, we can tell you right now that it's the Volkswagen Up! GTI.
Top Gear Looks at VW Up! GTI Ahead of Car of the Year 2017 7 photos
Volkswagen Up! GTI Revealed With 1.0 TSI Engine And Equally Small Red StripeVolkswagen Up! GTI Revealed With 1.0 TSI Engine And Equally Small Red StripeVolkswagen Up! GTI Revealed With 1.0 TSI Engine And Equally Small Red StripeVolkswagen Up! GTI Revealed With 1.0 TSI Engine And Equally Small Red StripeVolkswagen Up! GTI Revealed With 1.0 TSI Engine And Equally Small Red StripeVolkswagen Up! GTI Revealed With 1.0 TSI Engine And Equally Small Red Stripe
The GTI is going to be up against 600 horsepower Lambos, McLarens and Ferraris. Frankly, it doesn't stand a chance. But every time there's a big car award being given out journalists feel obliged to feature cheap but fun motors. That's how a Subaru BRZ and a Mazda Miata appeared in MT's World 's Greatest Drag Race series.

The old Top Gear crew would have loved to sit around on their reclaimed Jaguar leather seats and talked about the Up! GTI. Of course, they're not here, so we get a man called Jack Rix in a cold warehouse somewhere.

He points out that the 17-inch wheels look big on a car of this size and that the black side stripes add at least 10 to 15 horsepower. After going over the specs, he quickly dismisses the critics, saying that it's a car built for the enjoyment of driving, not outright speed.

Whatever happened to the Renault Twingo RS, Citroen C2 VTS and Ford Sport Ka? We will, however, agree that the littlest of GTI models is probably better than a smart forfour Brabus.

Under the hood, you will find a 1.0-liter TSI turbo engine that delivers 115 HP and 230 Nm of torque (170 lb-ft). That gets it from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 197 km/h (122 mph). Besides the upgraded engine, engineers have also worked on lowering the suspension and giving it a little more stopping power. There's also a body kit that includes the most subtle stripe ever fitted to a hot hatch, gloss black trim on the bumper and a trunk spoiler.

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