Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept previews future FWD GTI EV – Polo size; simulated gear shifts; digital cockpit –

Volkswagen is previewing a fully electric, front-wheel drive GTI model that will be launched in the future with this, the new ID. GTI Concept. Based on the ID. 2all show car revealed back in March this year, the ID. GTI Concept is built on the MEB Entry platform and is slightly larger than the current Polo GTI.

Official figures indicate a length of 4,104 mm, width of 1,840 mm, height of 1,499 mm and a wheelbase spanning 2,600 mm. For reference, the Polo GTI is 4,074 mm long, 1,751 mm wide, 1,431 mm tall and its wheelbase is 2,549 mm. The Golf GTI is larger at 4,284 mm long, 1,739 mm wide, 1,456 mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2,636 mm.

The German carmaker isn’t providing output figures for now but it says the “worlds of the electric ID. GTI Concept and turbocharged Golf GTI meet up when it comes to power transmission to the front axle.” The ID. 2all offers as much as 226 PS (223 hp or 166 kW) and a WLTP-rated range of 450 km if you need a reference point.

Features of the ID. GTI Concept’s electric powertrain include a front differential lock that is electronically controlled by a Vehicle Dynamics Manager, which handles the electric motor’s power delivery. Various modes are available via the newly developed GTI Experience Control, allowing drivers to adjust the drive system, running gear, steering, sound experience and even the simulated shift points in the style of historic GTI models.

Design-wise, the GTI concept vehicle gets a red surround on the largely closed-off radiator grille, with more touches of red seen on the GTI logo. The grille is flanked by IQ.Light LED matrix headlamps connected by a horizontal LED bar and with an illuminated VW badge.

The bumper is also more aggressive than on the ID. 2all, with a black front splitter, honeycomb structure on the lower intake mesh, two red towing points as well as vertical LED daytime running lights in the black-framed air curtains.

At the rear, there’s a prominent roof spoiler and two-part diffuser, accompanied by dark-tinted, full-width taillights with red-illuminated 3D clusters and VW badge. The two examples presented are finished Diamond Silver Metallic and Mars Red – both colours from the first-generation Golf GTI – and fitted with 20-inch GTI Concept alloy wheels.

Inside, drivers are greeted by the GTI Digital Cockpit measuring 10.9 inches as well as a head-up display (this can project a map of the Nurburgring) and a 12.9-inch central infotainment touchscreen. Volkswagen opted against squeezing everything into the touchscreen, so there’s a panel just above the wireless phone charger with controls for the climate system and volume.

Similarly, the steering wheel with a 12 o’clock marker has physical control rather than touch panels and it has an airbag that is located slightly lower down to create a visual bridge to the impact absorber (also called the ‘spittoon’ by fans) in the original Golf GTI.

The company also reinvented another endearing cue found in past Golf GTI models which is the the gear knob in the design of the golf ball. The golf ball design is now applied to a dial on the centre console for the GTI Experience Control – the gear selector is a switch on the steering column.

Cycling through the different modes changes the look of the displays and ambient lighting, and there are a number of different performance driving-related functions to tinker with. Volkswagen’s cheekiness with its ID. concepts is also evident in the design of the ‘play’ and ‘stop’ pedals, and the GTI version gets a heart graphic on the seats with a reinterpreted GTI chequered pattern that is dubbed Jack-e, a playful take on the Jacky fabric used in the Mk6 Golf GTI.

Convenience features include USB-C ports capable of delivering 45 W, a 230-volt power socket and stowage spaces equal to the ID. 2all like 50 litres of space beneath the rear bench seats that also has a lockable safe. The ID. GTI Concept’s electric vehicle (EV) platform and packaging allow for a boot space of 490 litres (305 litres for the Polo GTI), expandable to 1,330 litres (1,079 litres for the Polo GTI) with the rear seats folded down.

No suggested pricing for now, but the ID. 2all Concept is said to be affordable at around 25,000 euros (RM125,534). As such, we can assume the hopped-up ID. GTI Concept to be hovering a couple of thousand euros more than that. What do you think of Volkswagen’s first preview of an all-electric GTI model? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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