VW GTI Goes EV in 2026

German automaker Volkswagen plans to launch an electric version of its iconic GTI hot hatch in 2026, confirms the brand’s design director.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

December 28, 2023

2 Min Read
VW ID.GTI concept
Battery-electric GTI not guaranteed for U.S. market.

The popular Volkswagen hot hatch, the GTI, will join the automaker’s growing ID-branded electric lineup in late 2026, according to VW’s design chief.

While it’s a lock that European customers will see the Volkswagen ID.GTI, it is not yet confirmed that the model will arrive in North America.

The internal-combustion GTI, long based on the Golf, will be closer in dimensions to the Polo hatchback, which has never been exported to the U.S. But the ID.GTI will be replacing the gas-powered GTI globally, which makes eventual U.S. sales likely. The wild card, one VW official tells Wards, is how fast U.S. adoption of EVs takes place, and what limits on EV exports will be in place in the U.S. as far as content is concerned to qualify for U.S. federal and state subsidies.

It is also not known when VW will stop making the ICE GTI. The pace of converting all of VW’s ICE vehicles to EV counterparts is in flux as the automaker makes billions in cost cuts worldwide to account for the slower-than-expected uptake of EVs by consumers and the influx of Chinese EVs in VW’s strongest markets in Europe and China.

Based on the ID.GTI concept car revealed earlier this year, the dimensions of the car would be 160.4 ins. (4,074 mm) long with a wheelbase of 100.7 ins. (2,558 mm). That’s close to the dimensions of the Polo, while the gas-powered GTI sold today is 168.8 ins. (4,288 mm) long with a wheelbase of 103.6 ins. (2,631 mm).

If the dimensions of the concept carry through to production, though, it likely won’t mean less internal room because of the space management advantages afforded by VW’s MEB architecture.

“In 2026, we will introduce an electric version of this iconic model,” design director Andreas Mindt writes in an Instagram post accompanying sketches of both the VW ID.GTI and a gas model.

Since 1975, Volkswagen has sold 2.8 million GTIs, and owners historically have been rabid advocates and followers, with GTI clubs worldwide.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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