Troy Queef

Smoother than a silk sock full of single malt

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The foul frosty crow of winter has got its beak stuck firmly into the East Midlands hinterland. The air hangs sharp and unsympathetic like a spherical switchblade, cutting into all it envelops like a doom-laden duvet of shivering sub-zero. No man nor beast would surely venture amidst this freezing frieze yet there upon the horizon a bold and bulbous blob of red powers petulantly through the merciless moodscape. What’s up? Or, should I say, what’s Up!?

That’s right; this snub nosed spot on frosty face of Winter is none other than Volkswagen’s brand new baby, the seemingly surprised Up! That exclamation mark is no scribbler’s slip nor subbing snafu; VW put it there with deliberate determination, like a punctuated fox in the syntactical henhouse to bespeak of virtuous vim. Question is, can this Slovakian-made smallster extract exclamations of delight from the keen helmsman?

First impressions are as positive as the top of an AA battery. Under the pugnacious prow is a thrummy three banger numbering just 333cc per pot, stacking up to a cubed centimetre under the full one litre, yet this microscopic motor pulls like George Clooney in a singles bar, aided by a slick shifter that’s smoother than a silk sock full of single malt Scotch. This duo of delights also reflects a typically Teutonic quest for quality that infests the Up! like wasps in your loft. Question is, can the chassis be as classy as the fine finish of the facia?

Upping the pace on some of outer Kettering’s tricksiest tarmac soon reveals cornering cadences as neat as a brain surgeon’s beard. The sweet steering may fumble for feedback but when you ask for accuracy it pops a pile of precision straight in the post. Better yet, the pliant poise soaks up the worst of the road’s crumbling carapace like a five star hotel towel on a small puddle of piss.

Firing in hot to an especially sinuous series of switchbacks, when the questions come thick and fast the suspension scores an instant 12 with no passes. Keen to throw in a cruel curveball, I line up like a laser on the apex and then deftly back off the gas. All at once the Up! brings its pert rump into play with a saucily sideways stance. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 high up! is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine