The Suzuki Swift Sport rival’s return to the market comes as Volkswagen gears up to begin deliveries of the revised e-Up, which, unlike its new Seat Mii Electric and Skoda Citigo-e iV siblings, will be sold alongside petrol variants.
Given the Up GTI's relatively short time off sale, it returns largely visually unchanged, save for the addition of the redesigned Volkswagen logo and a new set of 17in alloy wheels with low-profile tyres. As before, the seats are trimmed in Jacara checked fabric, which first featured on the original Golf GTI, with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and GTI-badged gearstick further differentiating it from the rest of the Up range.
Power output from the transversely mounted turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine remains 113bhp - nearly double that of the standard Up - and drive is still sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. The car achieves 53.3mpg on the WLTP combined cycle, emits 120g/km and remains capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in 8.8sec and on to 122mph.
The most significant change for prospective Up GTI buyers is a price increase from £13,750 to £15,895 before options, which represents an £3445 premium over the standard Up. Prices rise to £16,295 for the five-door variant.
Joining the Up GTI in showrooms will be a new Up R-Line, available from £14,280. This brings styling features inspired by Volkswagen's top-rung performance models, 16in black alloy wheels, black trim elements, lowered suspension and heated front seats.
There are changes further down the Up range as well, with added equipment on the £12,440 entry-level model now including 15in alloy wheels, a 5.0in infotainment display with smartphone compatability and a DAB radio. The 74bhp mid-range engine option has been discontinued, leaving just the 59bhp three-cylinder unit.
Starting from £13,125, the new White and Black special editions bring larger 16in alloy wheels with coloured highlights, as well as a colour-coded roof, wing mirror housings and dashboard. Unlike the standard Up and Up GTI, these models are available exclusively in five-door form.
All petrol versions of the Up are now available to order, while the electric e-Up is expected to go on sale in the coming months.