A range-topping Volkswagen Up! GT has been approved by VW’s board, and is expected to be launched next year. The car will be powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine which develops 109bhp.
The news was confirmed by Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s board member for product development, at the Paris Motor Show. Hackenberg has been closely involved in the Up! GT’s development, as we tested his own prototype earlier this year.
Hackenberg also added that a compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Up! will go on sale in mainland Europe later this year.
There’s currently no refuelling infrastructure for CNG in the UK, but with tighter emissions rules like London’s Congestion Charge Exemption being lowered to 80g/km, the Up! CNG’s 79g/km CO2 figure makes it more attractive and is something VW is currently evaluating.
An electric Up! will also be launched in the first half of 2013, and will become VW’s first production electric car. This will be followed in 2014 by an all-electric Golf.
VW will expand Up! sales globally after the arrival of the higher-powered GT, but the car will not be sold in North American markets.
Further ahead, a more spacious version of the Up! is a possibility, although the Bulli concept - which drew on VW’s classic Camper - is on ice, thanks to negative feedback given at VW’s customer clinics.