An electric GTI is coming in two years' time, and Abarth launches an interesting version of the 595 pocket rocket.

Electric Volkswagen GTI Coming In 2026

While we're patiently waiting for the GTI to get a mid-cycle facelift in 2024, Volkswagen is already thinking ahead. The company's design boss took to Instagram to announce a fully electric version is coming in 2026. Andreas Mindt shared a sketch of the original Golf GTI alongside the recently unveiled ID. GTI concept.

Since the Mk1 came out in 1975, VW has managed to sell more than 2.8 million units of the Grand Tourer Injection out of a total of more than 35 million Golfs sold throughout eight generations. The first one without a combustion engine is arriving in roughly two years' time. It should peacefully coexist with the petrol hot hatch for several years.

 

The sketch seemingly suggests that VW will use the "Golf" moniker for a production version of the ID. GTI. However, lest we forget the concept was based on another showcar, the ID.2all. That was a smaller vehicle seen as future electric replacement of the Polo supermini. The folks from Wolfsburg said it would be "as spacious as a Golf, as affordable as a Polo." Both concepts were underpinned by the forthcoming MEB Entry platform for front-wheel-drive vehicles. The ninth-generation, electric-only Golf due in 2028 will ride on the upcoming SSP platform.

Time will tell whether the electric GTI due in 2026 will be a Golf GTI or an ID.2 GTI since it's all a bit confusing right now. We wager it'll be the latter. In the meantime, VW has trademarked a new "GTI" logo where the "I" is replaced by a lightning bolt.

The Abarth F595C Has A Lexus-Like Exhaust

Abarth F595C

Abarth introduced the 500e electric hot hatch about a year ago but it’s still selling the petrol versions in some parts of the world. Japan happens to be one of the markets where Fiat’s performance division is keeping the ICE alive. Not only that, but the feisty city car is getting the special edition treatment based on the convertible with its electrically folding fabric roof.

Available in both left- and right-hand-drive configurations, the Abarth F595C is capped at 160 units. Production is evenly split between LHD and RHD, both of which come with a five-speed manual gearbox. The special variant also gets a Beats audio system inherited from the beefier 695 series. Customers can pick from Grigio Record (gray) and Rosso Passione (red) colours, each capped at 80 units.

Power is provided by a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine making 162 bhp and 154 lb-ft (210 Nm) of torque. That might not sound like much, but the car only weighs 1,160 kilograms (2,557 pounds). It's just about as heavy as a Mazda MX-5 RF. It features vertically stacked exhaust tips that might make you think of a Lexus F model. BMW has an optional M Performance exhaust with stacked exhaust tips as well but they're mounted near the centre. Mind you, this is not the first Abarth to adopt this setup since the F595 had it first back in 2021.

The Abarth F595C goes on sale today in Japan and costs 4,750,000 yen, which works out to about £26,300 at current exchange rates.