- The VW ID.GTI concept comes ahead of a fully electric, front-wheel-drive GTI that will be going on sale in Europe, likely not before 2027—but is as yet unconfirmed for the U.S.
- Retro details on the ID.GTI include the ability to replicate the original Golf GTI soundtrack.
- The “I” in GTI now stands for Intelligence rather than Injection, says VW.
We have already seen GTX branding used on the sportier versions of the ID.4 and ID.5 EVs, but now Volkswagen is set to take the next step with the creation of a fully electric car that will wear the GTI name. The ID.GTI unveiled at the IAA auto show in Munich is a concept car, but a production version is set to follow in Europe—and we’re told this is also under consideration for sale in the United States.
Entry-Level EV for Europe
The ID.GTI is effectively a hopped-up version of the regular ID.2 that Volkswagen previewed with the ID.2all concept earlier this year. This is set to be VW’s entry-level EV in Europe, positioned below the ID.3 (which isn’t sold in the States). The ID.GTI shares the same base bodywork as the vanilla ID.2 and sits on the company’s new MEB Entry platform, a smaller and simpler version of its existing MEB architecture, one which uses front- rather than rear-wheel drive.
Volkswagen hasn’t released any power figures for the ID.GTI, but we can safely assume it will have at least as much as the 223 horsepower that has been promised for the top-spec ID.2. Like the current gasoline-fired GTI, the ID.GTI will get an electronically controlled limited-slip differential to help it find traction and help alter its behavior in switchable dynamic modes. It also has a simulated sound system, which the company says can replicate historic GTIs, including the original 1976 Mk 1 and the 1986 Mk 2 16-valve version.
We will have to wait for other mechanical details, although we predict that the production ID.GTI will use the larger of the two ID.2 battery packs, which stores 56.0 kWh rather than the entry-level 38.0 kWh. Volkswagen has previously said that the larger pack will support DC fast-charging at speeds of up to 125 kW and that it will have a range of up to 280 miles under Europe’s optimistic WLTP testing protocol. One interesting question is whether the ID.GTI will have a speed limiter; Volkswagen restricts the ID.3 to 99 mph in Europe and has said it will do the same with the regular ID.2. As a performance variant, will the GTI be allowed to go faster?
Closer in Size to Polo Than Golf
The ID.GTI will be smaller than the existing GTI; at 161.6 inches in length and sitting on a 102.4-inch wheelbase, it is closer in size to the European Polo rather than the current-generation Golf. But Volkswagen promises that short overhangs and the lack of a combustion motor up front mean it will offer comparable passenger space to the gasoline-fired GTI.
We can’t show you a finished interior yet. The IAA concept is an external styling model, but VW has released renderings of the cabin showing a squared-off steering wheel and a red color scheme, plus “Stop” and “Fast Forward” logos on the brake and accelerator pedals (the ID.2all was shown with “Pause” and “Play”). The renderings also show a minimalist plaid pattern on the seat trim, another GTI cue.
Another neat detail is the ability to transform the display of the 10.9-inch digital instrument display to a rendered version of the Mk 2 Golf GTI’s instrument pack. A larger 12.9-inch display sits in the center of the dashboard, and as with the face-lifted versions of the larger ID models, Volkswagen is bringing back separate temperature and volume controls rather than integrating them into the bottom of the touchscreen. The concept also has a head-up display for both the driver and front-seat passenger, which is shown projecting performance data high onto the full height of the screen and allowing the passenger to see “lap times that have been completed.” That is a distraction that is hard to imagine making it to a road-legal version.
Volkswagen design boss Andreas Mindt admits that he was already thinking of the design of the ID.GTI when he began work on the ID.2all, and the muscular front and rear bumpers make that obvious. So do plenty of details that reference earlier GTI variants, such as the black rear wing integrated into the top of the tailgate and the eight-spoke 20-inch wheels. It certainly looks more purposeful than the ID.2all concept did.
It is still a way off being on sale. The production version of the regular ID.2 is set to go on sale in Europe in 2026, with the GTI following the following year. Both will be built in Spain alongside models from Škoda and Seat that are built on the same MEB Entry platform. We hope to be able to tell you that it will come to the U.S. at some point afterward.
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Senior European Correspondent
Our man on the other side of the pond, Mike Duff lives in Britain but reports from across Europe, sometimes beyond. He has previously held staff roles on UK titles including CAR, Autocar and evo, but his own automotive tastes tend towards the Germanic, owning both a troublesome 987-generation Porsche Cayman S and a Mercedes 190E 2.5-16.