The modern Golf GTI is fantastic to drive, but it’s grown considerably over the years. Gone is the pure, lightweight chassis and simplistic setup of the very first GTIs. But don’t worry, Volkswagen still makes a car remarkably similar to the Mk1 and Mk2 cars:.
The Up! is Volkswagen’s smallest car, and even in its hotted-up GTI form, remains incredibly simplistic. It’s powered by a 113-horsepower engine, sending torque to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. There are even drum brakes and a torsion beam at the back. Combine those features with the Up’s relatively light curb weight, and you’ve got yourself a modern interpretation of VW’s vintage performance hatch.
Henry Catchpole of Carfection spent some time behind the wheel, and finds the Up! GTI incredibly easy to thrash around, and shockingly enjoyable. He does note however, the car isn’t as adjustable mid-corner as the Fiesta ST, and traction control can’t be turned off.