Volkswagen has a long and proud history of making compact, sporty cars bearing the GTI badge. From the original Golf GTI in 1976 to the latest Polo GTI and up! GTI, these models have always delivered fun, performance, and practicality at an affordable price. But what does the future hold for the GTI brand in the age of electric mobility? Volkswagen has given us a glimpse of the answer with the Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept is a show car that previews the first all-electric GTI based on the upcoming ID.2 compact SUV.
The Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept was unveiled at the IAA Mobility Show in Munich in September 2023, exactly 48 years after the debut of the first Golf GTI at the same event. The concept car is more than just a design study, as Volkswagen has confirmed that it will go into production in Europe by 2027 and is also under consideration for the U.S. market. The ID.GTI Concept is based on the Volkswagen ID.2all concept that was revealed earlier this year, which is set to be Volkswagen’s entry-level EV in Europe, priced at around $29,500. The Volkswagen ID.2all uses a new version of Volkswagen’s modular electric platform (MEB), called MEB Entry, which is smaller and simpler than the MEB used by the Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen ID.4 models.
The Volkswagen ID.GTI shares the same basic bodywork as the ID.2all, but with some distinctive features that make it stand out as a GTI. The front end features a large honeycomb grille with a red stripe and a GTI logo, flanked by slim LED headlights with X-shaped daytime running lights. The lower bumper has large air intakes and a black splitter, while the hood has small tabs that extend over the grille, creating an overbite effect. The side profile shows off the sporty proportions of the concept car, with a sloping roofline, muscular wheel arches, and a sharp character line that runs from the hood to the rear fender. The concept car rides on 20-inch alloy wheels with red brake calipers and low-profile tires. The rear end features a roof spoiler, a full-width LED light bar, a black diffuser, and dual exhaust tips.
The interior of the Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept is also inspired by the GTI heritage but with a modern and minimalist twist. The dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen infotainment system that can display various information and functions, including simulated soundtracks of historic GTIs such as the Mk1 and Mk2 models. The steering wheel has a flat bottom, multifunction buttons, a GTI logo, and red stitching. The seats are upholstered in black leather with red accents and GTI logos on the headrests. The center console has a rotary selector for the drive modes, which include Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Individual. The concept car also features ambient lighting, wireless charging, and a digital instrument cluster.
The ID.GTI Concept promises to deliver impressive performance and handling thanks to its electric powertrain and chassis technologies. Volkswagen has not revealed any power figures for the concept car, but we can expect it to have at least as much as the 223 horsepower that the top-spec Volkswagen ID.2all will offer. The concept car has a front-wheel drive and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential that can distribute torque between the front wheels to improve traction and cornering. The concept car also has switchable dynamic modes that can alter its behavior and sound according to the driver’s preference.
The concept car uses a 56 kWh battery pack that can support fast charging up to 125 kW, allowing it to replenish 80% of its charge in about 30 minutes. Volkswagen claims that the concept car can travel up to 280 miles on a single charge under the European WLTP cycle, which is usually more optimistic than the EPA rating. The concept car also has regenerative braking that can recover energy and extend its range.
The Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept is not only sporty but also smart and safe. It features various advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can assist or intervene in different situations to prevent or mitigate accidents. These systems include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, parking assist, emergency braking assist, and traffic sign recognition.
The ID.GTI Concept is an exciting preview of what Volkswagen has in store for its GTI fans in the electric era. It combines the best of both worlds: the fun and performance of a GTI with the efficiency and sustainability of an EV. It also shows that Volkswagen is fearless in taking risks and innovating with its design and technology. We hope that the production version of the ID.GTI will live up to its concept car’s promise and make its way to our shores soon.