Volkswagen’s GTI badge has defined the German car maker’s performance range since 1976.
The most recent model to gain the GTI badge, though, was the Volkswagen Up: the firm's smallest car, which excels in urban environments.
Under the bonnet sits a tiny 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, producing 113bhp, with power sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.
While those particulars are far from eyebrow-raising, the Volkswagen Up GTI benefits from a turbocharger to help propel the car from 0-62mph in 8.8sec (we achieved 0-60mph in 8.5sec in our 2018 road test) and on to a top speed of 119mph.
It also gained some design details typical of previous GTI models. Inside, there’s matt chrome trim, a set of Jacara cloth tartan seats and a leather, flat-bottomed, three-spoke steering wheel. GTI branding features on the gearknob and the door sills, and every car gets a black roof.
There really aren’t many performance city cars out there that can match the charm of the Up GTI. In fact, we said in that original road test that the model is “as genial and charming a car as any pint-sized ‘pocket rocket’ there has ever been”.
Prices for a new Up GTI started from £13,750 in 2018, but you’ll have to pay from £18,055 for a new one today. Its status as a potential future classic is reflected by the model’s healthy residuals on the used market.