Volkswagen ID GTI is affordable EV hot hatch for 2026

What’s your favourite part of the design?

“The wheels. They are the classic steel wheel design [from the Mk1 VW Golf GTI] remade in aluminium. I’ve not seen a wheel treatment like this before.”

What was your starting point for this concept?

“The GTI is an icon for us, and we said to remake it as iconic for electric. We’ve collected the best bits and pieces of designs from all GTIs and done other things with them.”

What’s your personal favourite GTI?

“The Mk1 Golf GTI. The pureness of it – it’s so clean. There were only 5000 planned but we’ve sold 2.7 million GTIs now. The length [of ID GTI] is 4.1 metres, which is very similar to the Mk1 GTI. But the space is way bigger. It’s emotional and rational, so when you sell the idea to your wife or husband it’s easier!”

Is this closer to a Polo GTI or a Golf GTI?

“We focused on GTI itself, not a model. What made GTI an icon? What can we put on it? ID 2 matched really well to GTI; it’s stable, likeable and has the secret source, the three things we identified in our design to make us a ‘loved brand’ again. We made it friendly and approachable and that’s a serious power. It’s not overly aggressive. In a Golf GTI, you never feel embarrassed. In some hot hatches, you do feel embarrassed in certain situations. This is ‘unpimp’ my ride, not a boy racer car.’

What does ‘stable’ mean in design?

“It’s something that looks strong and doesn’t look flat. The Beetle had some shapes in some ways to give stability to the sheet metal. Stable can mean a lot; it’s about not looking like falling over. That’s why we have a strong C-post, to make it look strong and stable.”

Which models will you use for GTI in the ID era?

“We won’t put it everywhere, that can endanger it. Some segments can do other things that work better. Lower hot hatch is where we start from.”

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