Say hello to the GTI of the future: Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept revealed at IAA Munich show

Published Sep 4, 2023


With Volkswagen having mapped out an all-electric future in Europe, it was only a matter of time before the ID label would be combined with its most iconic acronym of all time: GTI.

Meet the hot hatch of the future. While the ID. GTI Concept, revealed at the IAA Mobility show in Munich on Monday, is technically a concept, its production intent is clear as day.

The new GTI show car is based on the ID.2all concept car that was revealed back in March, and which is set to inspire a new entry-level electric hatchback that will debut in 2025.

The production version of the ID. GTI Concept, Volkswagen says, is scheduled to hit the shelves in 2027.

But does it spell the end for the petrol-engined GTIs that we know and love? Not necessarily. Volkswagen has reiterated that combustion models will still play an important role until at least 2033, when it plans to go all-electric in Europe, however it’s likely that ICE engines will stick around for longer than that in other markets. That said, there reportedly won’t be another combustion engined Golf generation, and the Polo’s future remains in doubt too.

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

We do know that it will be front-wheel driven, using an updated version of the current GTI’s front axle electronic differential lock.

Unfortunately Volkswagen hasn’t yet released any power or performance figures for its new ID. GTI Concept, but we do know that the ID.2all concept that forms its basis has a front-mounted 166kW electric motor, and so we can only assume the GTI version improve upon that.

The German carmaker says drivers can expect a “new, powerful GTI feeling” thanks to the electric motor’s instant power and torque delivery, but the company has also taken measures to prevent what would otherwise have been a boring driving experience devoid of any mechanical sensations.

To that end, it has developed the new “GTI Experience Control” which can adjust the drivetrain, steering and sound experience in the style of historical GTI models, while also adding simulated gear-shift points.

But will fake sounds really fly with GTI fans? Somehow we find it hard to imagine..

However, Volkswagen Brand CEO Thomas Schäfer remains confident that the new model would satisfy its customers by being sporty, technologically advanced and accessible, while meeting the needs of a fully connected world.

“The perfect combination of driving pleasure and everyday usability – that is what the three letters GTI have meant for decades,” Schäfer said. “With the ID. GTI Concept, we are transporting the GTI DNA into the electric age.”

Moving inside, the ID. GTI Concept has a fully digital cockpit and although the automatic gearbox is now operated via a steering column switch, the iconic golf ball gear lever design has been applied to the GTI Experience Control on the centre console.

The digital cockpit also has a “Vintage Mode”, which takes inspiration from the analogue instruments found in earlier GTI models.

But modern tech abounds in the new concept car, including an augmented reality heads-up display for both the driver and front passenger. There’s also a GTI button on the steering wheel, which switches the ambient lighting and displays to a bright red colour.

But as much as Volkswagen has pulled out all the stops to try and emulate its GTI traditions in the electric era, will that be enough to convince its hot hatch fans to go electric? Only time will tell.