Currently reading: Volkswagen ID 3 GTX due imminently as electric Golf GTI alternative
Quicker ID 3 GTX set to feature 282bhp motor at the rear, plus bespoke styling and a sporting chassis

Volkswagen has confirmed it will unveil a hot 'GTX' version of the ID 3 imminently, posting a teaser video of the new model to social media.

The electric hot hatchback builds on plans first aired by Volkswagen with the unveiling of the smaller ID GTI concept at the Munich motor show in September last year, with unique exterior styling touches, an upgraded interior and a revised drivetrain offering significantly more power and torque than existing ID 3 models. 

Recently spotted in prototype form undergoing cold weather testing, the upcoming range-topping ID 3 has two-wheel drive, like every Volkswagen that has worn the hallowed GTI badge over the past five decades. 

However, instead of being front-wheel drive, this latest sporting model will have rear-wheel drive, in line with every other ID 3. 

Although Volkswagen’s previous management initially hinted at a dual-motor, four-wheel-drive GTX version of the ID 3 at its launch in 2019, current CEO Thomas Schäfer has subsequently denied that the firm harbours plans for such a model. 

This is in part owing to the cost of re-engineering this version of the MEB platform to accept a front-mounted electric motor – as is possible in larger MEB-based EVs. 

Technical details remain scarce ahead of the ID 3 GTX’s planned introduction later this year. However, the new EV is expected to feature Volkswagen’s significantly more powerful APP550 motor in place of the ID 3’s existing APP310 unit.

As deployed in the new ID 7 saloon and extended-wheelbase ID Buzz, the new APP550 motor features revised cooling measures, new windings and a more efficient inverter, among other key changes. In its initial form, it delivers 282bhp and 402lb ft of torque – an 81bhp and 173lb ft increase on the most powerful ID 3 model on sale today, the Pro S.

Volkswagen AP550 motor


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Befitting its sporting remit, the ID 3 GTX will get a uniquely tuned chassis, with revised gearing for the steering, firmer springs and dampers and a lowered ride height, among other changes. 

It will also have recalibrated stability and traction control systems and a revised driving mode controller. 

In common with all existing ID models, it will use single-speed reduction gearing. It’s also likely to receive a 77kWh lithium ion battery for a range of more than 311 miles on the WLTP test cycle. 

Although it might not wear the GTI badge, it’s still expected to feature GTI hallmark design cues, including deeper bumpers with honeycomb inserts, new-look sills and unique wheel designs – and potentially even an interior with red accents and the classic Jacky plaid seat upholstery

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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Boris9119 11 January 2024

If this ends up being badged as ID3 GTX then it for certain is not the replacement for the Golf GTI as that would imply VW was throwing away the 'GTI' branding, and we all know they ain't that stupid. More likely this is a stop-gap until we get a genuine EV Golf GTI?

adam_ypw 11 January 2024

Eww... VW, you really can't polish a turd

soldi 11 January 2024

Surely VW knows that you can't make a silk purse out of a pigs ear?