Don't worry, Volkswagen isn't abandoning its GTI hot hatches in its future I.D. electric range.
Volkswagen is about to embark on a new era with plans to unleash a wave of all-electric vehicles under its I.D. moniker to try and win back consumers after the Dieselgate debacle. First up is the I.D. Concept, an autonomous hatchback due to go on sale in 2020. Then there’s the I.D. Buzz EV, effectively the successor to the iconic Microbus due in 2023. Now, Auto Express has revealed that a hot version of the I.D. Concept could join the range and bring back the iconic GTI badge.
Speaking at this year's Detroit Auto Show, VW’s sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackman told Auto Express that GTI hot hatches could evolve into fully-electric cars in the future. “I think the formula of GTI will change – it will not be the same formula that took us here. But to have an exhilarating, fun to own, fun to drive car, with electric cars it is possible to deliver that. Technology is clearly set to be able to do that – it is actually quite easy to do, with four-wheel drive if you want to,” he said. Underpinning the I.D. range is VW’s MEB architecture, enabling the first hatchback model to achieve a power output of 168 horsepower and a 0-62 mph time in “under eight seconds."
However, VW is considering fitting performance-orientated models with higher-output batteries – including an I.D. GTI to take on Tesla. “Today we are really successful in having a range of performance, especially at Volkswagen,” VW’s vice president of Product Line G4, e-mobility told Auto Express at CES this year. “We need to recreate this with e-mobility.” The news is reassuring to those that were worried VW would stop producing the fun hot hatches it's arguably best known for when the I.D. range rolls out. As Tesla has proven, going all-electric doesn’t mean sacrificing speed.