As anticipation builds for the forthcoming launch of the Volkswagen Up GTI, it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that Skoda already builds what looks very much like a go-faster version of the VW Group’s impressive city car.
It’s called the Citigo Monte Carlo, referencing the famous rally where Skoda first competed in the 1930s, and would go on to claim class victory in 1977 with its rear-engined 130 RS.
Like the rest of the Citigo range the Monte Carlo has recently been on the receiving end of a light mid-life facelift that gives it LED daytime running lights, a new design of front bumper and an updated radio complete with colour screen.
You know it’s the Sporty Spice of the line-up because there’s a chequered flag decal on the side and racy front and rear spoilers to hint at the power within. That might sound tacky, but somehow it works, particularly with the tinted windows, black wheels and black mirror housings set against the Tornado red paint of our test car.
It’s similarly neat inside, with racing stripes on the seats, a gloss black facia, red stitching on the three-spoke steering wheel and a smart Monte Carlo plaque. Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a USB socket to connect your phone as a music player, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a cradle atop the dash in which you can slot a satnav or your smartphone.