Fully electric Volkswagen Golf GTI confirmed for 2026

Published Dec 22, 2023


Ever since Volkswagen revealed its ID.GTI Concept in September, we’ve known that a battery powered GTI is on the horizon.

Now its designer Andreas Mindt has confirmed on Instagram that the production version will be revealed in 2026, while also strongly hinting that it will carry the Golf name.

Volkswagen brand boss Thomas Schafer previously hinted that the Golf nameplate would survive into the electric era, but that badge has not been used on the ID.2all Concept, which will spawn the company’s most affordable EV, or the more recent ID.GTI version of that concept.

Mindt this week published a sketch of the upcoming electric GTI, looking nearly identical to the ID.2 GTI concept, pictured alongside the original 1976 Golf GTI.

Although the ID.2 is smaller than the current Golf, giving the company’s iconic hatchback name to the production version could make some sense as its efficient EV packaging - with batteries being built into the floor - ensure that it’s as spacious as a car in the class above.

Besides, the earlier Golfs were somewhat smaller than today’s bloated model, so in a way the so-called “ID-Golf” would be returning to its roots.

Its imminent introduction won’t necessarily spell the end of the current combustion engined Golf either as that is scheduled for a mid-life facelift this year, which means it’ll almost certainly continue for a few years, even overlapping with the EV version.

But what can we expect from the all-electric GTI?

For starters, and unlike VW’s rear-driven ID.3, the GTI of the future will be front-wheel driven, featuring an updated version of the current GTI’s electronic differential lock on the front axle.

No power or performance figures for the ID.GTI Concept have been released, but with the regular ID.2all concept producing 166kW, we can surely expect even bigger fireworks from the hotter version.

Volkswagen says the electric motor’s instant power and torque delivery will create a “new, powerful GTI feeling” and the company has also developed a new “GTI Experience Control” which can adjust the drivetrain, steering and sound experience in the style of historical GTI models, while also potentially adding simulated gear-shift points.

Rather cheekily this Experience Control system is operated via a golf ball lever on the centre console.

“The perfect combination of driving pleasure and everyday usability – that is what the three letters GTI have meant for decades,” VW boss Schäfer said when the concept was revealed back in September.

“With the ID. GTI Concept, we are transporting the GTI DNA into the electric age.”

But will fans learn to live without VrrrPhaaa..?

IOL Motoring