Volkswagen ID.3 GTX debuts as brand’s first electric hot hatch

Published Mar 14, 2024


With Wolfsburg on a swift path to electrification, the days of the traditional Volkswagen hot hatch as you know it are numbered.

The new Volkswagen ID.3 GTX is a significant car as it happens to be the German carmaker’s first electric performance hatchback.

While the Golf-sized Volkswagen ID.3 is not slated for South African introduction, it does pave the way for other EV performance models like the next-generation Golf GTI, which will be fully electric.

The ID.3 GTX was revealed this week alongside the ID.7 GTX Tourer, which is a larger station wagon that shows Volkswagen wants to keep the performance estate alive in the electric era.

GTI fans will certainly miss the Vrrrphaa, but if it’s any consolation the new ID.3 GTX is impressively fast and thanks to its MEB underpinnings, it’s also rear-wheel drive.

Volkswagen will offer the ID.3 GTX in two versions, with the base model offering outputs of 210kW and 545Nm and the Performance variant upping the fun factor to 240kW.

Even the base version out-accelerates the Golf GTI, running to 100km/h in six seconds flat, while the ID.3 Performance does the deed in 5.6 seconds.

While the ID.3 is rear-driven, the ID.7 GTX Tourer has a dual-motor all-wheel drive system that produces a total of 250kW.

Kai Grünitz, the Volkswagen board member responsible for development, likens the new ID.3 GTX to the GTI Clubsport.

“Of course, an electric drive and a turbocharged petrol engine each have their own unique character. Yet the ID.3 GTX Performance and the Golf GTI Clubsport share the same fascinating lightness when they accelerate.” Grünitz enthused.

“With the ID.3 GTX, Volkswagen is transferring the almost 50-year tradition of its compact GT models into the world of electric mobility. Driving pleasure is guaranteed.”

Although traditional GTI-heads might require a bit more convincing, it’s clear that Volkswagen’s engineers have put considerable effort into making the new electric model as sporty as possible.

Numerous chassis and steering modifications have been made to the GTX, and it also gains 20-inch Skagen alloy wheels along with a GTX-specific front bumper, black body elements and lower rear diffuser.

The cabin has been amped up with premium sports seats and red decorative stitching throughout.

The new ID.3 and ID.7 Performance models join the ID.4 and ID.5 GTX variants, which already account for around one fifth of sales within their respective model ranges.

The ID.4 is set to be Volkswagen’s first electric entry into South Africa, but it’s unclear whether the GTX version will get the nod for local release.

IOL Motoring