Home » The VW ID.3 GTX Will Kick Off The Electric Hot Hatch Era

The VW ID.3 GTX Will Kick Off The Electric Hot Hatch Era

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Volkswagen is often credited as one of the architects of the hot hatch concept with the original Mk 1 Golf GTI. It helped create a new category of jumped-up grocery getters with extra pep and joyous handling. Right now, it’s an open question as to whether the hot hatch format will survive the transition to electric drive. The new Volkswagen ID.3 GTX suggests things will work out just fine.

You might question why Volkswagen didn’t stick with the GTI moniker, but there’s an easy answer for that. GTI typically stands for “Grand Tourer Injection,” or “Gran Turismo Iniezione” in Italian, given the initialism was first stuck on a Maserati. Fuel injection was big deal for performance vehicles, you see. However, fuel injection is irrelevant to EVs, so Volkswagen went with GTX instead.

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In any case, the ID.3 GTX has a spec sheet worthy of the fun letters appended to its name. The standard model will offer 282 horsepower, while it can be had in an uprated Performance trim that delivers 322 hp. It’s a big leap hp over the existing ID.3 which offered only 200 hp. Compare the GTX to the 2024 Golf GTI (241 horsepower), or the Golf R (315 horsepower), and the GTX is right in the ballpark. Plus, it has the benefit of 402 pound-feet of torque across both versions, a significant leap over the ICE-powered Golf GTI (273 pound-feet) and Golf R (295 pound-feet). Oh, and did we mention it’s rear-wheel-drive?

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The electric motor will rush the GTX from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds according to Volkswagen. That’s roughly lineball with what you can expect from a 2024 Golf GTI. It’s a fair bit slower than the Golf R, which can get into the low 4-second range when equipped with the DSG box. Despite the torque and power figures being in the GTX’s favor, the typical EV weight penalty likely has an impact in this regard.

The GTX will feature a 79 kWh battery which can be recharged at up to 175 kW at fast-charging stations. Volkswagen estimates a 10-80 percent recharge time of just 26 minutes at this rate. Range-wise, it’s expected the GTX will achieve 372 miles (600 km) of range on the WLTP cycle.

Wait, the WLTP cycle? Isn’t that European? Yes, that’s the sad clue that tells you the ID.3 GTX will not be coming to the US. Nor will the new ID.7 GTX, which is to be expected given it’s a large five-door wagon. Indeed, Volkswagen has been declining to provide Americans with hot GTX models across the board. The edge case is the ID.4 GTX; the US market will get a dual motor ID.4 with similar performance specs but without the sporty trim of the hot European model.

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Visually, Volkswagen has done well to make the hot hatch look work for an EV. Its compact body sits low and mean. There’s no confusing it for a small crossover or SUV. This is undeniably a hatchback. To differentiate it from the more humble ID.3 models, it has a new front bumper with a deep air intake with a black diamond grille. There are also new daytime running lights with an “arrowhead” design which are intended to be a new signature for the GTX range. Black body elements have also been given a high-gloss finish, including the side skirts and the rear diffuser. The model also gets a special 20-inch “Skagen” wheel design of its very own, available in a bright diamond-cut finish with contrasting black surfaces, or all-black if you’re just that goth.

Inside, it’s pretty typical fare as far as performance Volkswagens go. You get GTX lettering on the seats, red contrast stitching, and a GTX badge on the steering wheel. We’re also told that “the high-quality cockpit surface is GTX-specific.” That’s sure to make owners of more pedestrian ID.3s incredibly jealous.

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It’s clear that Volkswagen has been finding success with the electric GTX performance models. According to the company, every fifth ID.4 and ID.5 is being bought as a GTX, inspiring the rollout to the rest of the EV range.

The ID.3 GTX has a bigger job ahead of it than most, though. Unlike the rest of the range, it’s not enough for it to be just a little bit sportier than the base car. As an EV hatch with a performance sheen, it will be directly compared to every Golf GTI that has come before. Rear-wheel-drive and EV dynamics will mean it’s nothing like those cars, but there’s a spiritual connection that will demand comparison nonetheless.

In any case, we’ll find out if it handles and goes as well as it should when it hits the market later this year.

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Image credits: Volkswagen

 

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Holly Birge
Holly Birge
30 days ago

This is the problem with the North American obsession with SUVs and crossovers. We miss all the cool little practical hatchbacks.

Mr E
Mr E
30 days ago

I’m no car designer, but don’t those ID.4 headlights look a size too big on this hatch?

Given the apparent popularity of the ICE GTI here, I wonder why VW won’t bring the GTX here.

Then again, I don’t really understand VW any longer.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
30 days ago

I think I prefer the look of the otherwise very similar Cupra Born. As Cupra is pitched as a sporting brand I guess there will be a version of the Born with similar power outputs to the GTX in the near future.

The Electric CUPRA Born Car, Design, Technology & Specs | CUPRA (cupraofficial.com)

Slackmaster
Slackmaster
30 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

how did I not know Cupra was spun off into its own brand until now – a mere 6 years after the fact?

Myk El
Myk El
30 days ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

It’s rare when the VW branded version of a car used by multiple VW divisions is the prettiest one. Cupra’s been great. Skoda, though, tends to be my favorite most times.

10001010
10001010
30 days ago

Wait, the WLTP cycle? Isn’t that European? Yes, that’s the sad clue that tells you the ID.3 GTX will not be coming to the US.

Well I say boo, hiss, and spit.

R Rr
R Rr
30 days ago
Reply to  10001010

Is everything that VW is gonna sell us ‘muricans are the ID4 and the Buzz??
I’m no marketing genius, but is that really a winning strategy for the US market?

As a 2 ICE VW cars owner, what is VW’s offering for me when I eventually have to replace them, a Tesla?

10001010
10001010
30 days ago
Reply to  R Rr

They’re not even shipping us the right Buzz, I want the short wheel base panel van, not the longer minivan looking Buzz!

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
30 days ago

VW is totally nailing Nissan’s styling language. And that’s not a good thing.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
30 days ago

Is anyone else getting a BMW i3 feel from this design? It’s less funky, but I total get an i3 vibe here. Just shows you how any blasted thought out design kinda becomes the norm many years later.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
30 days ago

As our resident VW apologist, I mean this wholeheartedly.

Yawn.

Who tf threw out the VW design book in the late teens? The current crop of cars is as inspiring to look at as a 90s Daewoo or Suzuki.

Jeff Gorvette
Jeff Gorvette
30 days ago

Is this in any way related to the ID.GTI electric concept from last year? Not sure how VW is separating all the different ID models at this point. Would love a proper electric GTI to replace my Mk7 in a few years. That concept had me excited, this does not.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
30 days ago

Since electricity is this car’s fuel, and the cables “inject” the electrons into the motor, I guess you could say this car has fuel injection.

Aaron
Aaron
30 days ago

And there’s no throttle body, so you could argue it’s “direct injection”, even if it’s AC current.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
30 days ago

No physical controls, no dice.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
30 days ago

Not impressed, still shocked they aren’t bringing it to the US.

Noodles Gargamel
Noodles Gargamel
30 days ago

Quick but ugly.

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
30 days ago

Technically speaking, aren’t all electric hatches “hot” hatches? Because they have a positive/live/hot pole?

AlterId
AlterId
30 days ago

And by the same logic, or at least logic that can pass for the same in a poorly lit alleyway, all smart cars are neutral because the company began as a joint venture between Jellinek-Benz and swatch

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
30 days ago

Many are hot because they catch on fire spontaneously.

Aaron C
Aaron C
30 days ago

BYD makes better looking cars than this. What the hell are you doing, VW?

Chronometric
Chronometric
30 days ago
Reply to  Aaron C

I disagree. Nothing about this car is ugly, or beautiful. It is just a car, which my be a more damning criticism.

Aaron C
Aaron C
16 days ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Point.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
30 days ago

This thing is just ugly. Butt ugly. Like MTG ugly.
Thank God it’s staying in Europe and not coming here.
Not impressed at all by VW’s current EV styling trends.
Please tell us how to you would fix this crap Adrian.

Last edited 30 days ago by Col Lingus
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
30 days ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Petrol and a match….

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
30 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Now we’re talking hot hatch!

Last edited 30 days ago by Totally not a robot
Noahwayout
Noahwayout
30 days ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

You leave Magic The Gathering out of this!!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
30 days ago

Needs MOAR plaid interior and golf ball drive selector.

Gee See
Gee See
30 days ago

I know this is European model and only mid cycle facelift but Mercedes and BMW are bring Chinese made EV to the market.. (Smart Brabus and Mini).. Unless VW has something to pull out its hat (or massively improve ergonomics + add a frunk).. it sounds like a tough sell.

I have a VW loving, non Tesla loving extended family member just traded their ID4 for a Tesla Model Y.. it kinda say VW’s EV offering. No they don’t use Supercharger the majority of the time, just home charging, but it seems their software update doesn’t improve the car as much as VW has promised.

Last edited 30 days ago by Gee See
Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
30 days ago

The Rivian R3X cannot be here soon enough. Hot rally hatch! Sadly it’ll cost even more than this would.

86TVan
86TVan
30 days ago

Amen.

Aaron C
Aaron C
30 days ago

I’ve never put money down for a reservation before. When R3X reservations open up, I’m SO in.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
30 days ago
Reply to  Aaron C

I’ve never had any interest in EVs, hatchbacks, or lifted compacts with body cladding. That being said, I wanna buy one and call it Rex.

ProudLuddite
ProudLuddite
30 days ago

So disappointed, I thought we were getting an ICE car with instant, electric heat. All the crap they put on new cars, would be so easy to have an electric heating element to jump start heat in the cold, I would take that over a bunch of stuff that comes standard on new cars these days. If the EPA cycle included warming the car they would have fixed this problem yesterday.

ProudLuddite
ProudLuddite
30 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

I think I read some Buick’s may have a fast heat function as well. So it is not unheard of, but surprised it isn’t more common.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Lewin Day

BMWs (well, at least the E39) used to have a thermos to store hot coolant for the next morning.

https://youtu.be/r_jhR0zHS6c?si=vSk69hsabzA5BTdJ&t=335

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
30 days ago
Reply to  ProudLuddite

RAV4 has entered the chat….

ProudLuddite
ProudLuddite
30 days ago

Really? I would still probably never buy one,but I am taking inventory

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
30 days ago
Reply to  ProudLuddite

Okay, it doesn’t have an electric heater. That said it heats up really quickly. Like 90 seconds and it’s pumping out hot, hot heat. The price is frankly atrocious fuel economy. It’s lifetime average is about 21 mpg with a fair bit of highway driving. With that aside, it’s the outwardly dull as dishwater yet highly competent coworker whose Instagram account is chock full of all the fun outdoorsy adventures they never tell anyone they do.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
30 days ago

You might question why Volkswagen didn’t stick with the GTI moniker, but there’s an easy answer for that. GTI typically stands for “Grand Tourer Injection,” or “Gran Turismo Iniezione” in Italian, given the initialism was first stuck on a Maserati. Fuel injection was big deal for performance vehicles, you see. However, fuel injection is irrelevant to EVs, so Volkswagen went with GTX instead.

Didn’t stop Porsche from giving us a Taycan Turbo.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
30 days ago

Which is hilarious and so unexpected from a fairly staid marque.

Ben Siegel
Ben Siegel
30 days ago

Also, all 911s (save the GT3) are now turbos. but not Turbos. There’s the 911. And the 911 Turbo. and the 911 Turbo S. all 3 have turbochargers. But aren’t all Turbos. verstehen?

Toecutter
Toecutter
30 days ago

The V ID.3 GTX Will Kick Off The Electric Hot Hatch Era

Unless the price is under $30k and the curb weight is under 3,000 lbs, I’m highly skeptical it will be anything other than a status symbol for the upper middle class, rather than an actual hot hatch(characterized by light weight and affordability), and given that this demographic is all about conspicuous consumption enabled by debt, they will skip this and get the largest SUV they can “afford”..

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
30 days ago

Haven’t the Kia EV6 GT and Hyundai Ioniq 5 N already kicked off the electric hot hatch era? They’re bigger than the traditional hatch, but they’re still souped-up versions of flexible family vehicles.

Eslader
Eslader
30 days ago

They’re SUVs. Small SUVS, but SUVs. My Veloster-driving wife really wants her next car to be electric, but… Other than the Mini there’s not much out there in her preferred size.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
30 days ago
Reply to  Eslader

Everyone thinks the EV6 and Ioniq 5 are hatch sized; they are basically as big as a Telluride. They just have great styling that hides their size really well.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I was shocked by both of those cars when I saw them in real life. MASSIVE compared to what I was expecting.

Eslader
Eslader
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

They really should come out with a shrunk-down version of both of those. Same styling, 2/3ds the size. They’d be great, especially in urban areas.

R53 Lifer
R53 Lifer
30 days ago

No, but the Mini SE did….

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
30 days ago

Did they release the weight?
Horsepower figures aren’t much without knowing how much it has to move.

I roll around in 8500lbs at work: on my own time, I don’t like to throw around much more than 3000

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
30 days ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

That 0-60 time is really disappointing considering the HP and torque numbers, so I’m betting this car is heavy AF.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
30 days ago

Looks like a Rivian.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
30 days ago

Came here for this. Thanks, you shit-witted winkle tickler.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
30 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

I’m tryin’ me best, Govnah.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
30 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Ah, Brits have the best insults. Well let me rephrase that. Brits have the best insults in the English language. I can’t attest for insults in languages I can’t speak

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
30 days ago

Heinlein said you could recount a cake recipe in Russian and it would sound as if you were reciting someone’s ancestors’ antisocial habits back to the dawn of time. Some such: he was a master of language—and I am not.

Last edited 30 days ago by TOSSABL
Andy Individual
Andy Individual
30 days ago

I’m totally sanded and painted from a night of drinking, so I understand what you are saying.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
30 days ago

VW’s design language right now just isn’t doing it for me. The overall shape of this just looks like a jellybean with a weird face thrown on. It looks narrow and cheap.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Yeah, I feel the same way. The Mk7 was sleek and understated. These look round and blumpy. That rear 3/4 view could be any Mobility Company’s Mobility Mobile.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

Agreed. All the I.D. cars use ‘Playskool’ style graphics that I guess are supposed to be friendly and inviting but look cheap and immature to me.

Ham On Five
Ham On Five
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

There is nothing about this too-tall (looking) blob that appeals to me.

Aaron C
Aaron C
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

The Rivian joke above is apt. They’re making a better looking hot hatch than the company that pioneered it. I get that I’m a “stupid American who can’t afford [our] cars,” so maybe I just don’t understand where they’re going with their design language…

Vc-10
Vc-10
30 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I don’t dislike the ID cars, but apart from the Buzz they’re all pretty forgettable from a styling point of view.

Except the ID.2ALL, which is a proper return to form, especially the GTI concept, and I am totally viewing as being the next Golf.

I think they realised that people don’t want bland blobs, and are bringing back cars that look like VWs whether they have a badge on or not, whereas the ID lineup could belong to any number of manufacturers. Unfortunately the ID.7, and the new Passat and Tiguan were too far along for major changes.

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
30 days ago
Reply to  Vc-10

While the Buzz is the best, it could be drastically improved if it dropped the ID face design for something. I far prefered the Bulli concept, and maybe even the ’01 Microbus concept. The Buzz is just about the worst looking of all their buses and concept buses they’ve had.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
30 days ago
Reply to  Vc-10

I like the 2ALL as well. It looks a lot like a Golf to me. Which of course means we don’t get it. We don’t even get the stupid GTX.

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