Volkswagen’s first electric hot hatch is a quicker, lighter ID.3 Leave a comment

Volkswagen introduced the GTX nameplate to denote high-performance versions of its ID-branded EVs. Shortly after unveiling the ID.4 GTX, the Wolfsburg-based firm showed a quicker evolution of the Golf-sized ID.3 hatchback.

The GTI’s electric alter-ego is built on an 82-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which is the biggest unit available on the regular-production hatchback, and it borrows bits and pieces from the aforementioned ID.4 GTX. Volkswagen boss Ralph Brandstätter pointed out the powertrain has been tuned to about 329 horsepower and the chassis has been modified, though he didn’t provide more specific details. We’re assuming the go-fast ID.3 (which is called ID.X internally) is equipped with an electric motor over each axle, a configuration not (yet) offered to buyers in Europe.

Sprinting to 62 mph from a stop takes 5.3 seconds thanks in part to a significant 440-pound weight reduction. To put those figures into perspective, the rear-wheel-drive ID.3 equipped with the bigger 82-kilowatt-hour battery pack has 204 horsepower from a single rear-mounted motor, posts a 7.9-second sprint to 62 mph, and weighs 4,263 pounds. On the gasoline-burning side of the range, the 2022 GTI is powered by a 242-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it tips the scale at around 3,000 pounds, and it takes about 5.4 seconds to reach 60 mph. 

Volkswagen didn’t provide the ID.X’s maximum driving range; it’s a prototype, after all. Its experimental nature didn’t stop engineers from giving it a drift mode, while designers penned a sportier look with yellow accents inside and out.

Brandstätter clarified the ID.X has not received the proverbial green light for production. It’s a proof of concept built to illustrate what can be done using the components in the Volkswagen parts bin and the brand’s highly flexible MEB platform. Without citing examples, he announced the lessons learned will trickle down to future EVs.

Cranking up the performance dial is just one of the ways Volkswagen could expand the ID.3 range in the coming years. It’s also looking at chopping off the rear doors and turning the hatchback into its first electric convertible.

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