Volkswagen Debuts All-Electric ID. GTI ConceptSeptember 5, 2023
The GTI name has been used to signify sport compacts across Volkswagen’s lineup for decades; most notably the Golf GTI, but joined by classics like the Scirocco GTI and Polo GTI. With electrification in sight for VW, it only makes sense that they’d transition the GTI name into the battery-electric era. And that starts with this concept, the ID. GTI.
The name gives itself away as the sporty all-electric compact that it is, seeing as ‘GTI’ denotes the aforementioned performance heritage and ‘ID’ marking VW’s all-electric sub-brand. For those wanting a little further justification to the name, the ‘I’ in ‘GTI,’ which once stood for ‘injection,’ now stands for ‘intelligence’ (and the ‘GT,’ for those that may be wondering, still stands for ‘Grand Touring’).
Being a concept, battery and motor sizes are still left to the imagination, though Volkswagen was kind enough to discuss some of the more interesting powertrain components. Chief among them is the GTI Experience Control, which adjusts the drive system, running gear, steering, sound and simulated shift points. Not only that, but it can play the sounds of a historic GTI model, like the original 1976 Golf GTI or the first 16-valve Golf GTI MK II from ‘86; and while we much prefer the real sounds over these simulated ones, it’s better to mimic the volume of its predecessors rather than an entirely different lineage.
This future GTI is tethered to the modern example through a front-axle differential lock, electronically controlled by the Vehicle Dynamics Manager. This traction control system was first used by the Golf GTI and Golf GTI Clubsport. Speaking of, Volkswagen claims the ID. GTI Concept “integrates the powertrain into the control system to an even greater degree than on the gasoline models.” While the ‘I’ may no longer stand for ‘injection,’ we hope that this future GTI still manages to inject a healthy dose of sporty driving into its base model, the ID. 2.
Being based on the ID. 2, the concept is still rather compact; this four-door, five-seater measuring out to 161.6-inches on a 102.4-inch wheelbase. Taking up that space is a body that doesn’t stray tremendously far from the design language seen on current Golf GTIs, with the connected LED lights up front and honeycomb elements. The 20-inch wheels are joined by GTI badging and hashed body graphics along the lower rockers and on the rear hatch.
Renderings of the interior flaunt more of the ID. GTI’s conceptual nature, though items like the 10.9-inch Digital Cockpit and 12.9-inch infotainment screen seem grounded in VW’s current reality. The steering wheel features an illuminated 12 o’clock marker, and the two horizontal spokes– which don’t fully connect to the center hub– feature thumbwheels and two buttons each. The golf ball shifter, a staple interior element, has been translated into the GTI Experience Control in the center console. One last note on the interior: Despite the concept’s relatively compact design, it still boasts up to 47 cubic-feet of storage with the 60:40 rear seats folded down and 17.3 cubic-feet seats up. Underneath the rear bench is an additional 1.8 cubic-feet of storage, great for a first-aid kit and other small items.
Volkswagen is making big strides with their all-electric ID. sub-brand, so the introduction of a battery-electric GTI was inevitable. We look forward to spending time behind the wheel of whatever the ID. GTI becomes.