Updated: Oct 15
The Lovely Lupo with Nineties Flare.
Jade Davies | VW Lupo | @jadey_197
Cast your mind back to the late-nineties. You've recently started dipping your toe into the automotive world and have just been granted the ultimate key to unlock the treasure chest that is freedom - keys to a car. Better yet, you're an individual who wants something cool, nippy, stylish and something that comes with a whole host of upgradable options to create your very own MaxPower style build.
You have several options swimming around in the pool that is affordable hatches; a Vauxhall Corsa B, Citroen Saxo, Peugeot 106, or a Ford Fiesta Mk4 - all of which capable enough to house your 300W 12" subwoofer in the boot. Once you had saved enough money, wheels came next and these provided the platform for the next holy grail of modifying - the hugely over-complicated body kit that you had seen plastered across the tuner magazines. Life was good.
As the new millennia was strolling over the horizon, bringing with it a wave of new ideals, VW started experimenting with a new model line. The latest generation Polo had rather outgrown it's old clothes and so the maestro's at VW's head-office decided that a smaller marque was needed to slide back into the Polo's once tight training shoes. In spring of 1999, the Lupo was introduced to the UK and offered the winning formulation that had been loved previously, a small, good-looking hatch with enough charm to melt the nations hearts.
Over 2 decades later and this charm still exists, reeling Jade in to purchase her very own little Lupo:
"I bought the car off Eathan 2 years ago when it was blue. I was inspired by my other half, Richard, and his award winning Seat Leon, therefore I started putting my own ideas together for what I wanted out of it."
Interestingly it was a Seat that inspired Jade to take up her Lupo project, but ultimately, it was VW's Spanish sister brand that spawned the end for the Lupo. The Lupo was based on the Seat Arosa with both using the A00 platform featuring a shortened wheel base adapted from the Polo & Ibiza's equivalent A0 framework.
The Arosa, however, was priced far lower in the class than the Lupo and so proved to be more popular with buyers leading the Lupo to miss its sales targets. In 2005, the lovely little Lupo was pulled from production.
If anything, the Lupo is probably living through it's most popular era within the car community. Their simplistic styling acting as the perfect blank canvas for a creative to add their flare. Whether you want a clean, stanced Euro build or a Jap inspired small hatch, the styling can be tweaked to suit any real style. Add this to the fact they have been discontinued for almost 20 years (I know, I felt old saying that too), you have yourself a small slice of automotive history.
Jade's Lupo has been designed with a stanced Euro look in mind. Air suspension tucking the 2-piece OZ Turbo wheels into the arches snuggly whilst the exterior bodywork has been kept clean with an OEM+ feel. One thing that I particularly like with this Lupo is the fact that Jade has introduced certain mods that heighten the late-nineties feel of this plucky platform:
"The roof and air tank are definitely the two aspects I'm most pleased with. It's a very 90's look with the pattern and I often get asked if it's a wrap."
The painted pattern on both the roof and air tank contrasted with the Ford Frozen White Respray create an aesthetic that is retro yet fits within the modern modified world. Creating this combination is no easy feat as you can imagine:
"Getting it painted and meeting the deadline was the biggest challenge. I got it home a few days before Ultimate Dubs 2023 and had to drive it home in the snow. It then made it onto the Greenlight stand so it was such a relief seeing it done and inside. A fun memory was fitting and installing the air ride; learning how it all works and how to wire it in."
Being accepted to the indoor section of a show is a major milestone in many an enthusiasts journey through the automotive world and this was definitely the case for Jade - a long time enthusiast who is enjoying life with not one, but two show cars.
"Mostly it was my Dad that got me into cars. We used to go to a lot of car shows and racing events. I always said that I'd have a car like that one day and now I have two!"
Jade has taken the Lupo platform and has tastefully created a stanced, OEM+ build that retains the charm of the late-nineties era it was conceived in. Since the plug was pulled on the model in 2005, VW waited 6 years before introducing their new base model - the VW Up. The Up retained a lot of what the Lupo started only with a few more mod-cons that Jade doesn't seem to care for:
"I don't drive the Lupo daily but it is a lovely car to drive. Basic, but who needs all this modern technology?"
Cast your parking sensors and Apple Car Play aside as all you need to really enjoy your car are pedals in the footwell and a steering wheel between your hands!
Wheels & Tyres:
2-Piece OZ Turbo Wheels
165/45 Nankang Tyres
Ford Frozen White Respray
Painted Lace Details on Roof & Air Tank
Blue Pearl Added to Paint
False Floor Build
GTI Double-Din Unit
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