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.

Volkswagen GT Up Concept

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.

Volkswagen GT Up Concept 2011

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.