Volkswagen GT Up! concept

As small as the car is itself, Volkswagen wanted to ensure its Up! city car would make a big impact when it lifted the veil on the production model at the Frankfurt Motor Show. So along with the basic three-door hatch, the German automaker also brought out a series of concept cars that gave us a hint at what the future of the product line could hold in store.

Though little in the way of details were offered on the show floor, Volkswagen has been highlighting these concepts one at a time in the weeks that have passed since. First in line was the Cross Up! that confirmed the arrival of a five-door model. Then came the Buggy Up! that showed a more playful side of the platform. Now Wolfsburg has detailed the GT Up!, demonstrating the little hatchback's sporting potential.

Applying a similar formula that's transformed the Golf into the GTI, the GT Up! packs such performance-oriented extras as 17-inch alloys filling up those little wheel wells, a wider grille, brake ducts with integrated LED daytime running lights, extended side sills, gloss-black side mirror housings, a rear spoiler and diffuser and twin exhaust pipes.

The interior has been done up with blue-checked anthracite upholstery, a black headliner, gloss-black trim and leather-wrapped three-spoke wheel. While the GT Up isn't quite confirmed for production at this point, it does show us what could come down the pipeline. In the meantime, you can check out the high-resolution images and the press release after the jump.
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SMALL BUT PERFECTLY WARMED: THE VOLKSWAGEN GT up! CONCEPT

Just as the new up! compresses all the virtues of a Volkswagen into a compact city-friendly package, the GT up! concept promises to distil the driving pleasure of the seminal hot hatch, the GTI, into a powerful yet petite package.

Following in the wheel tracks of another sporty small car – the original Golf GTI – the GT up! exudes sporting style, from its wide-mouthed honeycomb grille to its two chromed tailpipes – one either side.

The wide central grille is distinctly larger than that on the standard up!, to allow plenty of air to the engine, which could potentially pack 100 PS or more. Either side of this, the broad bumper includes ducts to provide cooling airflow to the front brakes, these ducts also containing the wing-shaped LED daytime running lights.

The sporting theme continues along the flanks, which feature extended sills and black gloss-painted door mirrors. The wheels are arch-filling 17-inch alloys with wide
195-section tyres. At the rear, a deep roof spoiler helps reduce lift over the rear axle, while a black diffuser at the bottom is framed by an exhaust pipe on either side.

In the cabin, the GT up! is no less sporty. Beneath a black roof lining are anthracite-coloured seats offset by central panels with a blue chequered pattern that has more than a hint of GTI about it. The gloss-black dashboard and upper door trim panels are similarly offset by blue rings around the air vent nozzles, while the driver gets to grip a chunky leather-bound three-spoke wheel.

The GT up! remains a concept for now but certainly received a favourable reception when it was shown at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show.

Order books for the standard three-door up! are already open, and first customer deliveries are expected in spring 2012. For more information please visit your Retailer or www.volkswagen.co.uk.