VW to launch electric GTI in 2026

Volkswagen is preparing to launch an electric hot hatch sporting the GTI badge in 2026, design chief Andreas Mindt has revealed, though it won’t be a Golf GTI.

In an Instagram post made earlier this week, and first spotted by Motor1, Mindt said the first GTI, based on the Mk1 Golf, was unveiled in 1975, and that in 2026 an electric version of the iconic hatch will be launched.

It’s possible the car will be shown a year earlier to mark the 50th anniversary of the original Golf GTI’s reveal.

Included in Mindt’s post was a sketch showing the original Golf GTI together with VW’s ID.GTI concept unveiled in September and already confirmed by VW for production.

Instagram post by Andreas Mindt – Dec. 2023

The ID.GTI concept isn’t likely to be badged as a Golf GTI as concept’s subcompact dimensions point to it previewing a replacement for the Polo GTI, just as the related ID.2all concept shown in March likely previews a replacement for the regular Polo.

Test mules for the production ID.2all using modified bodies of the larger ID.3 have been spotted testing. The vehicle, and likely any GTI version, will use a new platform derived from the current MEB design found in vehicles like the ID.3 and ID.4. The new platform, dubbed MEB Entry, is shorter than the regular MEB platform and features a single motor at the front.

Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept

Volkswagen ID.GTI Concept

In the ID.2all, the motor is rated at 222 hp, and the concept’s battery is claimed by VW to deliver 280 miles on the WLTP test cycle used overseas. A lower figure would result using the stricter EPA cycle. VW hasn’t provided any specs for the related ID.GTI concept but said it also featured a single motor at the front.

Crossover fans can also look forward to an MEB Entry-based offering from VW in 2026.

VW in September said it is planning an electric Golf, and this model will likely offer a GTI variant, though the electric Golf won’t arrive until 2028 at the earliest, as that is when its SSP platform is scheduled to be ready. That means an electric Golf GTI, the car we traditionally think of as a GTI, could be the second EV to wear the GTI badge.

Ironically, the I in GTI signifies fuel injection, a technology that clearly won’t feature in the electric GTI. Similarly, Porsche uses a Turbo badge on its Taycan, a name that also signifies a technology for ICE vehicles and not EVs.

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