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New VW ID. GTI Concept takes performance brand into the electric age

Volkswagen’s new ID. GTI Concept previews a hot version of the forthcoming all-electric ID.2

Volkswagen has confirmed its intention to take the GTI performance brand into the all-electric age with its Munich show star, the ID. GTI Concept.

The startling red baby hot hatch previews a faster version of VW’s forthcoming ID.2, a Polo-sized all-electric supermini with a target price starting at around £22,000. The German manufacturer has experimented with faster EVs already, badged as GTX – but the brand’s latest boss, Thomas Schäfer, is said to have decreed that the equity in the more iconic GTI badge shouldn’t be wasted just because combustion engines are being dropped.

The ID. GTI Concept is based on the ID. 2all show car revealed back in the spring. It’s 4,104mm long, so just three centimetres longer than the Polo, but has a wheelbase of 2,600mm that’s closer to the current Golf’s. The accompanying short overhangs and chunky 20-inch alloy wheels give the show car a planted stance.

Other performance-oriented styling tweaks include a honeycomb-effect mesh grille in the lower portion of the front bumper, complete with motorsport-style towing eyes, deeply scalloped side skirts and a neatly integrated rear roof spoiler, plus an aggressive diffuser with red highlights. The VW badge on the rear hatch is also red, while the GTI moniker features near the front headlights, at the leading edge of the front doors, on the side skirts and, in a larger form, in the centre of the tailgate. 

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The car retains the five-door configuration of the ID. 2all, though; VW’s design team is said to be lobbying hard to keep that car’s ‘hidden’ rear door handles, integrated just ahead of the C-pillars.

VW has only issued sketches of the cabin, but they show a red-themed evolution of the ID. 2all’s interior, with a clean design dominated by a 12.9-inch infotainment screen but nevertheless featuring physical switches for all electric windows, plus the heating and ventilation, heated seats and audio volume. There are deep bucket front seats too, complete with an LED ‘heartbeat’ that pulses to show people outside that the car is secured and locked. 

There are also golf ball dimple motifs on some of the centre console elements, referencing the original Golf GTI gearknob. The concept has a sophisticated augmented-reality head-up display that projects information for both driver and front passenger; VW says it could be used to show information like lap position, times or current race standings – though this item seems less likely to make production.

There are no motor and battery specifications or performance data for the concept yet, but VW has said that the car will feature a modified version of the current Golf GTI’s electronic front differential. The company claims that it will be able to integrate this system’s processes and software into the electric-motor control unit “to an even greater extent than on the petrol models”.

However, as outlined in Auto Express’s scoop on the baby EV GTI project, it’s expected to have at least 220bhp and crack 0-62mph in just under seven seconds – figures that are pretty close to those of the existing Golf GTI.

VW’s head of design, former Bentley man Andreas Mindt, said the concept shows that GTI has “a great future”. “I already had the GTI in mind when I first put pen to paper for the ID. 2all,” he said. “It is now becoming reality and allowing us to project the GTI idea into the new age of electric mobility.”

The ID.2 is expected to make its debut in 2026, although the production readiness of the latest concept would suggest that VW isn’t likely to wait long before offering its GTI variant. We should expect the first EV GTI by the end of that year, therefore, or in the first half of 2027.

Click here for our list of the fastest electric cars in the world...

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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