Volkswagen has removed its Up GTI hot hatch from sale and has put no timeframe on its return.
Demand for the smallest GTI in the range has exceeded expectations and proved so strong that VW has halted orders entirely for the sporty three- and five-door model.
It's priced from £17,950 for the three-door model but UK customers are currently able to order cars from existing stock only. The standard, non-GTI iterations of the city car are still available for purchase from the factory.
A spokesman for Volkswagen told Autocar: “Our priority is to manage customer expectations and our order bank with this particular model.
“Volkswagen as a business is continually evaluating its product range and there are no announcements scheduled relating to the Volkswagen Up model.”
The firm did not put a specific timescale on the 113bhp GTI’s return to sale. However, as the car remains a popular choice for Volkswagen, the firm says it “looks forward to seeing that continue in 2023”.
Initially released in February 2018, the Volkswagen Up GTI was withdrawn from sale for the first time in mid-2019 when it received a minor facelift allowing it to comply with new emissions regulations. This included the addition of new engine software.
Currently produced at Volkswagen’s Bratislava plant, the Suzuki Swift Sport rival is not the only Volkswagen Group car to be taken off sale lately. Sibling brand Skoda temporarily pulled its plug-in hybrid Skoda Octavia last month, also due to an order backlog.
The Up’s bigger sibling, the Volkswagen Polo, faces a similar threat of being removed from sale, albeit permanently, as company boss Thomas Schäfer recently said Euro 7 emissions rules could add €5000 (£4401) to the cost of producing a car. This would make the profit margins for small cars ever tighter.