Nowadays, it’s only around the corner that a hatchback will break the 400BHP barrier, hypercars have more than 1000BHP but when does it all stop? Besides in a game of pub top trumps, when can you really use all of that power to your advantage? When you think about truly great cars some powerhouses come to mind, the McLaren F1 or the Bugatti Veyron; under the same blanket, however, fall the Fiesta ST and Mazda MX-5, not because of their speed but their outright fun factor and the fact that the power is available to use on every road.
Enter the VW UP! GTI. 113BHP. That’s a completely accessible number. The engine wants to be revved too, satisfying grunt bellows as you raise the revs at a considerable speed, as you slam through the gears and keep the engine revving frantically you’ll be pleased or shocked to see you’re still under the speed limit. This car is far more about the experience than getting somewhere quickly, it can keep up with cars much quicker than itself in the corners thanks to its minute weight and stiffer suspension.
With its performance upgrades, the UP! Has lost nothing from its city car credentials, easy to park, and a cinch to navigate on busy city streets like it always has been. The interior is largely unchanged too, a simple dash keeps buttons to a minimum although, the center console stills lacks a dedicated interface, relying instead on your mobile phone for connectivity. The Gripe that still plagues the UP! And many other small cars is that if you have the steering wheel in the ideal place you can’t see the dials: Infuriating!
Mark from Southern Commercial Sales said that ‘The UP! Is an excellent little car, in a world where horsepower is king this little car jumps in and shows that handling and fun are just as important!’
Its only true rivals are the Renault Twingo GT and the Smart ForFour Brabus. The VW undercuts both of these on price, shaving nearly £7000 from the Brabus tag! The Twingo isn’t as fun to drive although it does feature some decent standard kit like cruise control and an integrated screen. The ForFour sounds far better with the twin tailpipes providing a raspy note, the downfall, however, is the huge alloys kill any comfort previously experienced in the Smart.
Many people have tipped this to share the same pedigree as the MK1 Golf GTI; it doesn’t. Whilst both cars are light, the Golf is more than 200KG lighter than the UP! This makes a big difference. The main variance and perhaps the biggest killer, the Up! Doesn’t have a golf ball on the gear stick! A huge oversight on their part.