Are you ready for the quintessential hot hatchback to go electric? Volkswagen is prepping the segment with its retro-themed ID. GTI Concept at IAA Mobility 2023, which seeks to bridge 48 years of combustion-powered GTI history with VW's electric future.
If the red car featured here looks familiar, you're probably thinking about the VW ID. 2all Concept that debuted earlier this year. The similarity is no accident – Volkswagen designers actually had the GTI in mind while designing that concept, and as such, you'll find pretty much the same features here, albeit trimmed with black and red. There are sportier fascias front and rear, and it rides on wheels that draw inspiration from the Mk1 GTI. Taillights are darker, and a wing atop the hatch blends with black trim around the window. The grille also gets blacked out with red trim, and naturally, you'll find GTI branding all over.
At this point, we'd love to tell you about the motivation beneath the skin of this racy red hatchback. For now, VW doesn't have anything to say other than it's a single-motor, high-performance powertrain that features an electronic differential lock for the front wheels. It also offers a wide range of customisation through the GTI Experience Control, which can adjust everything from the suspension to steering feel, sound, and even create simulated shift points to mimic GTIs from decades past.
Speaking of decades past, you'll find more retro goodness inside, and not just with the plaid seats. The ID. 2all's digital interior with dual screens carries over, but VW offers multiple settings on the ID. GTI Concept including classic gauge displays. Feel like cruising in a Mk2 GTI? You can set it up, and should you happen to find yourself at, say, the Nurburgring, an augmented heads-up display will project a layout of the track on the lower corner of the windscreen. Meanwhile, the passenger can keep track of lap times ... also projected onto the windscreen.
Gallery: Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept (2023)
Whether such tech makes it to production is unknown, but VW does say the interior layout with the 12.9-inch centre screen, 10.9-inch driver screen, and the assortment of physical controls are near-production items. The automaker also flat-out states the ID. GTI Concept is a "first glimpse of the exciting GTI future because the decision has been taken that it will go into production." And though this concept focuses on performance, VW reminds us that it's still a practical hatchback capable of carrying five people and 490 litres (17.3 cubic feet) of stuff in the boot.
When will this concept become reality? That's also a subject on which VW isn't ready to talk just yet. But you can get a taste of the future at IAA Mobility 2023, where the ID. GTI Concept will be on display starting 5 September.