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VW's baby gets Upgrade, turbo power

Published Feb 23, 2016


By: IOL Motoring Staff

Wolfsburg, Germany - Volkswagen's Up has been given its first major upgrade and the city slicker has also been beefed up with the introduction of a TSI engine option.

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Slotting above the cost-conscious normally aspirated 1-litre three-cylinder engine, which continues to be offered in 44kW and 55kW guises, the new 1-litre TSI direct injection turbopetrol engine produces 66kW and 160Nm.

That's enough, given how little the car weighs, to get the TSI from 0-100km/h in 10 seconds and onto a top speed of 185km/h. In fact, VW implies this is a spiritual successor to the original Golf GTI of 1975 by saying it has comparable performance - technically it's 3km/h faster at the top end and a second slower from 0-100.


Designers didn't make any drastic changes to the overall look of the vehicle while facelifting (or is that uplifting?) it, but there are still numerous design changes inside and out.

Exterior enhancements stretch to new headlights with integrated daytime running lights, new bumpers front and back, a bolder diffuser as well as redesigned taillights and side mirror housings. In addition to the 13 body colours and three roof colours offered, VW is also offering a wide range of new colours and decors for the dashboard, fresh seat designs and additional ambient lighting options.

As for equipment, two new infotainment systems with improved smart-phone integration are offered, while upper-crust models are now available with automatic air conditioning and a multi-function steering wheel for the first time.

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For eardrum destroying enthusiasts there's a new Up Beats model fitted with a 300 W sound system sourced from Dr Dre's audio company, BeatsAudio. The seven-speaker sound system has an eight-channel amp with a digital signal processor and they've even managed to squeeze a subwoofer into the steering wheel.

The Upgraded VW gets its first outing at the Geneva Motor Show in March and the South African line-up and pricing will be made available closer to its launch, which is scheduled to take place during the first half of 2017. An encouraging sign though is that European models debut at the same price while offering more equipment.

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