Volkswagen ID GTI concept car revealed

Lionel Kong

VW’s upcoming all-electric hot hatchback is set to continue the Golf GTI’s legacy into the electric age


Ahead of its international unveiling at the IAA Mobility show in Munich that’s set to start on 5th September 2023, Volkswagen has released images of its ID GTI concept car, which, as is so abundantly clear, is designed as the EV successor to the legendary Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback. It has some big boots to fill considering that the Golf GTI is practically the car that birthed the entire hot hatch genre way back in 1975.

So, what is this then? Volkswagen has built on the reputation of its ‘GT’ nameplate with the Golf long before. From the twin-charged Golf GT from 2006 to the newer diesel-powered GTD, plug-in hybrid GTE, even the upcoming ID.4 GTX EV, the brand has always skirted around the GT-something badge without actually taking anything away from the iconic GTI badge found on the performance version of its Volkswagen Golf  and Polo hatchback.

But here now we have signs that the GTI is going all-electric after Volkswagen announced earlier last year that the Golf might not remain ICE powered for much longer. The VW ID GTI is actually built upon the same underpinnings as the VW ID.2all, itself an urban hatchback set to go into series production in 2025.

Expected performance figures are still up in the air at the moment, but Volkswagen has dug deep into the iconography of the Golf GTI’s signature elements and placed them all into the ID GTI. 

Details from the original Golf GTI and have continued through every generation of the car is set to continue here. While the manual-transmission Golf GTI had a golf ball shaped gear lever, it has now morphed into a golf ball-inspired central controller. Another classic identifier of the old Golf GTI was its tartan upholstered seats, now reborn in a chequer patterned interior fabric that recalls the design.

While the new digital instrumentation is a given, drivers can also choose a “Vintage mode” setting that brings up a recreation of the green-lit analog dials from the Mk2 Golf GTI.

Externally, the concept also features the GTI’s red surround line to the radiator intake grille, which here is filled-in because electric cars do not have a radiator anyway.

Matte black elements on the lower part of the front end, as well as down the side evoke the original bodykit of the  Mk1 Golf GTI, back in a time when plastic was the new high-tech material for cars and it was all left unpainted to show them off. 

The ID GTI is 4104mm in length, a world away from the original Golf GTI that was just 3705 mm long. It’s also longer than the Volkswagen Polo, which is 3971 mm.

Styled by VW brand’s new design head, Andreas Mindt, he stated, “In my opinion, the powerful ID 2all is the perfect basis for an electric GTI. I already had the GTI in mind when I first put pen to paper for the ID.2all. It is now becoming reality.”

VW brand’s new design head, Andreas Mindt, with the VW ID GTI

Sport-oriented additions to the car include wacky things like simulated gearshifts, which can be accessed within different modes via the GTI Experience Control, and the more useful front differential lock, which can help the car blast out of corners quicker and with less understeer when on the edges of grip. How many more features that will be added to or deleted from the final production version remains to be seen.

There’s no word on how quick the car is going to be, but based on current EV performance car trends, a sub-six-second o to 100km/h time is possible though we don’t expect it to dip below five seconds like the Tesla Model 3 Performance.  Also with how quickly battery tech has been moving, we’d be disappointed if the car didn’t have at least 500km of driving range by the time it is released.

All versions of the ID.2-based electric cars will be built in Spain. Volkswagen announced that the production ID2 will have three other siblings – a VW brand small SUV, a Cupra sporty hatchback and a Skoda small SUV. Don’t hold your breath though, as we think the earliest the car will go into production is in 2026, which means a possible arrival date of 2027 in Singapore.


electric car golf gti volkswagen

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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