What goes up must come down as Volkswagen has announced its smallest hot hatchback is no more. In an interview with the Dutch edition of Top Gear magazine, a spokesperson for the Wolfsburg-based automaker announced the up! GTI can't be ordered anymore. The news comes shortly after Autocar reported the feisty machine has been pulled out from the UK. The sad reality is VW is discontinuing the pint-sized performance car altogether.
Production hasn't ended as the German brand has a backlog of orders it needs to clear but the up! GTI is no longer available to configure. If you hurry and depending on where you live, there might be a few in stock. The decision only impacts the sporty derivative as the regular model and the purely electric e-up! remain on sale. As a reminder, the latter was on a hiatus before returning to the lineup about a year ago as a cheaper alternative to the ID.3.
2018 VW Up GTI first drive
Conceived as a spiritual successor of the original Golf GTI, the A-segment hot hatch had a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine making 115 bhp and 200 Newton-metres (147 pound-feet) of torque. While that doesn't sound like much, the up! GTI weighed only 1,070 kilograms (2,358 pounds) and did 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a decent 8.8 seconds before maxing out at 122 mph (196 km/h).
Offered in both three- and five-door flavours, the smallest of the GTI models competed in a rarefied segment. Other diminutive cars with sporty ambitions that spring to mind are the Renault Twingo GT and the Suzuki Swift Sport. A direct successor is not planned as VW intends to replace the up! later this decade with a small electric car, likely badged as an ID.1 or ID.2.
The future isn't looking particularly bright for the Polo GTI either as VW CEO Thomas Schäfer recently said the stringent Euro 7 regulations could make the supermini too expensive.
Sources: Top Gear NL, Autocar