Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept Hints at Electric GTI Coming in 2027

Published on September 5, 2023 in Electric by Guillaume Rivard

The Volkswagen brand plans to launch 11 new electric models by 2027. Not all of them will come to North America, mind you, but we’ll get a zero-emission successor to the sporty Golf GTI.

At IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich, Volkswagen gave a preview in the form of the ID. GTI Concept, and we managed to take a close look at it. Here’s what we can tell you.

Familiar Architecture

First of fall, the electric Golf GTI will ride on the company’s existing MEB platform, which underpins the ID.4 crossover and more. Similar to the gas-powered model, it will send power to the front wheels only using a front-axle differential lock.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

The letter “I” for injection in the GTI name now also stands for intelligence in the form of high-performance drive and chassis intelligence. With the ID. GTI Concept, Volkswagen is presenting a new evolutionary stage of these electronically networked driving dynamics systems. Here, the Vehicle Dynamics Manager integrates the powertrain into the control system to an even greater extent than on the gasoline model.

Using a newly developed GTI Experience Control on the centre console, the driver can choose which characteristics the powertrain should have. For the first time, it’s possible to adjust the drive system, running gear, steering, sound experience and even the simulated shift points in the style of one of the historical GTI models. Sounds cool, but we’re curious to see how it works.

Unfortunately, Volkswagen didn’t provide technical details about the motor and battery, let alone performance and range figures.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

Iconic Design in the Age of EVs

Aesthetically, the iconic hatchback silhouette of the Golf family has evolved, with designers taking inspiration from the ID. 2all that was shown earlier this year. It retains a compact size (4,104 mm long) yet boasts a long wheelbase (2,600 mm), short overhangs and large 20-inch wheels in a striking two-tone style. Incidentally, the concept’s Diamond Silver Metallic body paint is an homage to the first-generation Golf GTI.

Up front, the grille is now closed, obviously, but it retains the signature GTI red stripe. New-look headlights with IQ.LIGHT technology are framed by a horizontal LED bar, while the VW badge is illuminated in white.

Photo: Louis-Philippe Dubé

In the rear, the ID. GTI Concept sports a large spoiler in a black finish flanked by black air guide elements at the sides. Like on the current Golf GTI Clubsport sold in Europe, the spoiler is open in the roof transition. Meanwhile, the taillights have a dark tint and the diffuser below evokes the black bumper of the first Golf GTI.

Reimagined Driving Experience

Inside the ID. GTI Concept, the completely new multifunction steering wheel incorporates an illuminated marker at the 12 o’clock position and a steering column switch for the transmission. Designers have also taken a new approach with the augmented reality head-up display, which projects a new data spectrum onto the windshield—and now not just for the driver but also for the front passenger. Furthermore, they have transferred the golf ball design of the first GTI gear knob to the aforementioned GTI Experience Control in the centre console.

Photo: Volkswagen

The digital instrument cluster is fully configurable and can be set in Vintage mode to make it look like the gauges in the original Golf GTI, which is neat. Same thing for the GTI Mode button that makes the background lighting and all displays switch from white to red. As for the 12.9-inch centre display, Volkswagen says it is already a near-production version with more intuitive graphics and menu structure.

Naturally, the GTI’s trademark plaid cloth seats return. But get this: The driver’s seatback is additionally equipped with a red-pulsating LED element called GTI Heartbeat. When the doors are locked using the remote control, this activates the antitheft alarm and the GTI Heartbeat visible from outside signals to the driver that the vehicle is secure.

The electric Volkswagen Golf GTI or ID. GTI, whatever it’s called, should go on sale in Canada in late 2026 or early 2027.

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