Volkswagen Reveals Electric GTI
Volkswagen has always gone a different route with its sports cars. In the 60s, the Karmann Ghia was a low-slung coupe body designed by Ghia fitted over a conventional VW Beetle chassis. Later, after the front-engine, front-wheel drive Rabbit replaced the Beetle, VW gave it a sleeker coupe body and called it the Scirocco. The later Corrado followed the same game plan. And yet, the vehicle that became VW’s most legendary sports car, didn’t have a sleek body at all. The GTI, through all its generations, retained the practical, upright, squared-off body of the Rabbit/ Golf compact hatch. It thrilled enthusiasts with its power and deft handling so much that the term “Hot Hatch” was invented to describe it.
Just last March, VW revealed the ID.2all concept, which everyone clearly understood to be an electric version of the Golf. About a half year later, Volkswagen of Duluth is happy to tell you that VW has revealed the ID. GTI, which fills both the role of the hot hatch version of the ID.2 all and as an electric replacement for the GTI.
Keeping What Is Loved About the GTI
All the expected GTI elements are there. The upright boxy cabin with the slanting C-pillar. The wide, narrow grille up front is flanked by LED headlights and topped by a body-wide LED signature DRL, much like the ID.4. The tail lights divert a bit from the GTI norm as two rectangular LED elements on each side reside within a dark tinted band that stretches the entire width of the rear to wrap around the corners. At its center is the VW badge with red LED illumination.
The car is front-wheel drive like the GTI, which shares a platform with the ID.2all. This also allows Volkswagen to carry on with everything they have learned about making a FWD handle very well. Indeed, the ID. GTI can be expected to be quite the handler thanks to a low center of gravity due to the battery’s location under the floor of the cabin. The electric drivetrain also allows the ID. GTI to have a shorter front overhang than was ever possible in the gas-powered GTI, which facilitates a long 102.4-inch wheelbase.
Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, sums up the appeal of Volkswagen’s GTI cars: “The perfect combination of driving pleasure and everyday usability—that is what the GTI letters have meant for decades. With this concept, we are transporting the GTI DNA into the electric age. It remains sporty, iconic, technologically progressive, and accessible, but now has a new interpretation for tomorrow’s world: electric, fully connected, and extremely emotive. Here, driving pleasure and sustainability are a perfect match. This means GTI has a future for our brand and for the fans. Production has already been decided as part of our electrification plans. The ID. GTI Concept is a Volkswagen sports car for the electric age that is suitable for everyday driving: 100 percent electric, 100 percent emotion.”
Mimicking the Past
Whereas the “I” in GTI once stood for “injection”, it now stands for “Intelligent”, and VW enthuses that the set-up of the electric drive motor and its system can be varied almost infinitely. This is utilized in the concept vehicle to make it something of a time machine. It can electronically adjust the drive system, running gear, steering, sound, and even the simulated shift points to simulate the experience of historic GTI models—such as the original 1976 Rabbit GTI, the first 16-valve Golf GTI Mark 2 from 1986, or the 2001 Golf GTI Mark 4 ‘25 years of GTI. The digital driver’s information display can even change to simulate the gauge clusters of those GTI models of the past.
Whether such an entertaining feature makes it to production is unknown. Similarly, information about battery and motor size is yet to be announced. While the ID. GTI has been approved for production, there is no word yet on when it will find its way to the U.S. market.
When the production ID. GTI is approved for U.S. distribution, we will be sure to tell you about it in this Volkswagen of Duluth blog. In the meantime, you can experience Volkswagen’s all-electric performance with the dynamic and freshly updated ID.4, where we have a great selection in stock and affordable financing options.