The future of your beloved German hot hatch rests in the hands of the VW ID. GTI concept.

The Future of Volkswagen: Introducing the Electric VW ID. GTI Concept

The iconic GTI hot hatch is undergoing a significant transformation. In the wake of the sad news that the GTI manual transmission is being discontinued, Volkswagen is giving us a sneak peek into the evolution of this beloved vehicle. Welcome to the electric future of one of the most famous hot hatches in history.

Volkswagen has revealed its plans for the GTI Concept, which is set to go into production. While the final product may not be identical to the concept, it provides a close preview of what we can expect. The company states that “the GTI Concept is more than just a show car: it’s the first look of the exciting future of GTI because the decision has been made that it will go into production.”

The GTI Concept is based on the VW ID.2all, which is essentially the modern-day Golf with a performance-oriented GTI treatment. The concept features a modern, blocky body kit that enhances its aggressiveness, with several small touches inspired by the GTI’s sporty heritage. A faux diffuser, highly contoured side skirts, and a deep front lip, all painted in black, help to conceal the extra height of the battery pack.

Despite the evolution of electric vehicles and the opportunity to opt for rear or all-wheel drive, Volkswagen has chosen to maintain the front-wheel drive heritage of the GTI. A single motor drives the front axle through an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, staying true to the GTI’s roots. In fact, VW has included a range of “GTI Profiles” that can map the electric motor and onboard systems to replicate the characteristics of different GTI models throughout history. There are even simulated gear change points for each GTI variant, including the original Mk1 GTI, the Mk2 GTI 16 valve, and the Mk4 GTI 25th Anniversary.

The dimensions of the ID. GTI Concept are as follows: 161.6 inches long with a 102.4-inch wheelbase, 59 inches tall, and 72.4 inches wide. It features 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 245/35 tires, approximately 9.6 inches wide. In comparison, the 2022 Mk8 GTI measures 168.8 inches long with a 103.6-inch wheelbase, 57.6 inches tall, and 70.4 inches wide.

Moving to the interior, the ID. GTI is expected to offer 17.3 cubic feet of cargo space, with an additional 1.8 cubic feet in a secondary storage box. The cockpit features a 10.9-inch digital display in front of the driver, providing essential information. One interesting feature is the ability to copy the cluster from an old Golf Mk2, adding a touch of nostalgia. Additionally, VW is hinting at the possibility of an “augmented reality” situation where a track map is overlaid on the windshield, allowing drivers to see their position on a race track as if they were playing a video game.

For GTI enthusiasts, the name GTI stands for Grand Touring Injection, which is not possible with an electric vehicle as there is no injection involved. To address this, VW has changed the “I” from Injection to “Intelligence.” While the change is commendable, some enthusiasts may have preferred a cooler replacement, considering the ID moniker already stands for “intelligent design, identity, and visionary technologies.” Perhaps “Interceptor” would have been a better choice.

The introduction of the ID. GTI Concept marks the beginning of a new era for Volkswagen performance cars. With other automakers, such as Hyundai with its Ioniq 5N, also embracing the idea of capturing the essence of traditional performance vehicles in electric form, we have something to look forward to. The future of the GTI is promising, blending the best of both worlds by combining electric power with the spirit of a true performance hatchback.