Overseas customers enticed by the compact dimensions of the Volkswagen Up! but turned off by its diminutive 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine may be encouraged by reports that the German automaker is planning a more potent turbo version.

Previewed by the GT Up! concept showcased at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show (pictured above), the more performance-oriented model is expected to pack the turbo three from the larger Polo, where it produces 100 horsepower channeled through a five-speed manual transmission. That may not seem like much, but it would put the existing 59- and 74-horsepower versions of the German city car to shame.

That might not give it enough punch to keep pace with the upcoming Smart Fortwo Brabus (and its Renaultsport Twingo counterpart), tipped to pack as much as 130 hp, but it could stand to out-perform the existing 89-hp turbo models of both. Given that the reports are emanating from Brazil, however, it is possible that the Up! Turbo (or whatever it's ultimately called) would be limited to the South American market, if it's built at all. One thing's for sure, though: it's not likely to make it to North American showrooms anytime soon.

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