WHAT WE SAID
‘ Give it the gun and you are immediately struck by the Lupo’s lusty mid- range response. A peak torque figure of 112lb ft doesn’t sound much, but when it arrives at 3000rpm it endows VW’S tiddler with surging low- rev flexibility that melds cleanly with the zing of top- end power. Sadly the 16- valve motor is somewhat charmless – not that the Lupo’s B- road pace seems to suffer.
‘ No matter how twisty the road, the Lupo GTI hits 80mph in no time and parries awkward bumps, dips and crests with aplomb. There’s more bodyroll than you might expect, but the tenacious way it resists understeer is admirable. And even if you do overcook things, it won’t bite you with an armful of lift- off oversteer. Strong wet- road traction is final confirmation that the chassis is a good ’ un.
‘ The Lupo GTI is a very strong, highly desirable contender within the baby hot hatch sector. It also wears the GTI badge more convincingly than any VW hatchback since the Mk2 Golf. High praise indeed.’ – Driven, evo 028