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Our Cars: Volkswagen Up GTI

4 weeks ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


22 April 2024

What sterner test of your new car could there be? It was just four days after collecting my little Volkswagen Up GTI (I know it’s officially an ‘up!’ but I just can’t bring myself to write it) that I set off from home near Bristol for North Wales. There I would find some of the best roads in the country and the two finest quarter of a million pound supercars on sale today. What separated me and it from all of that was mile upon mile of more of the best roads in the country.

The serious work of photographing and assessing the Ferrari 296 GTB and McLaren 750S for our comparison test would begin soon after lunch, but first I had to get there. Of course I chose the route that takes you over hill and dale through the heart of Wales. I revisited that belting road I discovered during my last outing in my BMW M2 long-termer, the one that links Brecon to Builth Wells, plus another I’d heard of many times but never driven.

This was my first chance to get beneath the skin of the baby GTI – to learn if I’d been right to sink my own money into this pocket-sized hot hatch, or if I’d hopelessly misremembered what these tiny machines are actually like to drive. On the Brecon to Builth road and the B4518 that spears across the northwest quarter of Powys, I realised my latest purchase hadn’t been a mistake at all, but a masterstroke.

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