VW ID.GTI Concept Previews Electric-Powered Hot Hatch

The compact front-wheel-drive hot hatch is set to lead Volkswagen’s upcoming entry-level BEV lineup with a front-mounted electric motor, a sporting suspension and an anticipated starting price of about $32,800.

Greg Kable

September 3, 2023

4 Min Read
VW ID_GTI_Concept_front 1.4
ID.GTI concept shares bodywork with ID.2 BEV.

Volkswagen discloses plans for a powered-up performance variant of its upcoming battery-electric ID.2 with the unveiling of the ID.GTI – a production-based concept that pays homage to the German automaker's original Golf GTI, both in its essence and design.

Revealed at the 2023 Munich auto show, the compact front-wheel-drive hot hatch is set to lead VW’s upcoming entry-level BEV lineup with a front-mounted electric motor, a sporting suspension, traditional GTI design cues and an anticipated starting price of about €30,000 ($32,800).

“Production has already been decided as part of our electric offensive,” VW brand CEO Thomas Schaefer says of the automaker’s first-ever electric-powered GTI model. “It remains sporty, technologically progressive and accessible, but now has a new interpretation for tomorrow’s world: electric, fully connected and extremely emotive."

Although no official date has been announced for its launch, the production version of the ID. GTI looks set to follow standard versions of the ID.2 into showrooms by around a year, indicating a late-2026 introduction in European markets.

Confirmation of the powered-up ID.2 comes after Schaefer said he was seeking to ensure long-standing VW names such as GTI are retained on electric models.

VW ID_GTI_Concept_Interior_2.jpg

VW ID_GTI_Concept_Interior_2

As with internal-combustion-engine VW models, the GTI name is planned to be applied exclusively to front-wheel-drive electric-powered performance models.

The basis for the ID.GTI is the same shortened version of VW’s existing MEB platform as that planned for less-powerful versions of the ID.2. It houses a front-mounted electric motor and what the automaker describes as a “large” battery.

Technical details are yet to be made public. However, the development of the electric-powered GTI model has been twinned with the range-topping version of the upcoming Cupra Raval, which is claimed to develop up to 226 hp – sufficient to provide it with 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 6.9 seconds and a range of up to 273 miles (440 km), according to the Volkswagen Group-owned Spanish automaker.

As with the first-generation Golf and its hot hatch genre-defining Golf GTI sibling, the ID.2 and ID.GTI also share the same bodywork.

Included within the ID.GTI’s new-look front end is a deep bumper with pronounced air curtains and vertically stacked LED daytime driving lights on either side. The lower section houses a contrasting black air duct with honeycomb-shaped detailing and red tow hooks.

The area around the headlamps and the horizontal light bar receives further black detailing and a red outline, echoing the grille treatment of the original Golf GTI. The VW badge also boasts illumination in white for added emphasis during nighttime running. The headlamps themselves get VW’s IQ Light matrix technology.

Farther back, there is plastic cladding within the wheel arches, 20-in. wheels and prominent sills with GTI logos underneath the doors, all in black. The mirror housings also sport a two-tone color treatment, while GTI badges in red appear within the leading part of each of the front doors.

At the rear, the ID.GTI’s hatchback houses a larger spoiler element than that applied to the standard ID.2 for added downforce and high-speed stability. There are also new 3D taillamp graphics, a VW badge illuminated in red, further GTI graphics across the rear bodywork and a black valance within the lower section of the rear bumper.

“With the ID.GTI Concept, we are showing what a great future the GTI philosophy has,” says VW’s design boss Andreas Mindt. “I already had the GTI in mind when I first put pen to paper for the ID. 2. It is now becoming reality and allowing us to project the GTI idea into the new age of electric mobility.”

At 161.6 ins. (4,105 mm) long, 72.4 ins. (1,839 mm) wide and 59.0 ins. (1,499 mm) tall, the most powerful of VW’s planned ID.2 models is 1.5 ins. (38 mm) longer, 3.5 ins. (89 mm) wider and 2.4 ins. (61 mm) higher than the fourth-generation Polo GTI on sale in selected global markets. It also boasts a wheelbase that is 1.8 ins. (46 mm) longer than its ICE stablemate at 102.4 ins. (2,601 mm), giving it suitably short overhangs front and rear.

Traditional GTI design elements continue inside with a three-spoke steering wheel featuring a red 12 o’clock marker and checkered “Jack-e” upholstery for the seats, while the central rotary dial for the so-called GTI Experience Control is designed to mimic the golf-ball-style gear knob of the original Golf GTI.

Mindt and his VW design team have also provided the ID.GTI’s digital displays with a series of different looks. In Vintage mode, the 10.9-in. (28-cm) digital cockpit display in front of the driver adopts the look of the analog instruments used by the facelifted version of the original Golf GTI.

VW ID_GTI_Concept_Interior.jpg

VW ID_GTI_Concept_Interior

The larger 12.9-in. (33-cm) central touchscreen infotainment display also offers varying themes with design links to past VW models. In a nod to the Golf GTI’s rally heritage, the head-up display projects information onto the windshield for both the driver and front passenger (pictured, above).

Among the more conceptual touches is a red LED pulse sensor incorporated within the backrest of the driver’s seat.

As with the standard ID.2, VW claims the ID.GTI can accommodate up to five. Trunk space is put at a nominal 17.3 cu.-ft. (490 L), with up to 47.0 cu.-ft. (1,331 L) available when the rear seat is folded down. 

A 1.8-cu.-ft. (51-L) lockable stowage compartment underneath the rear seat houses the charging cable and other items.

VW ID_GTI_Concept_rear 3.4.jpg

VW ID_GTI_Concept_rear 3.4

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