One of our absolute favorite cars here at the Gear Patrol motoring desk is the Volkswagen GTI. That car emerged from a skunkworks project, with VW engineers taking a practical, great-handling Mk1 Golf hatchback and tuning it for performance. When VW launched the new all-electric ID.3 hatchback, our first question was when the GTI equivalent would come out.
We were a bit discouraged when VW launched its GTX electric performance branding in Europe and chose to do so with the ID.4 crossover, which was just named World Car of the Year. But it turns out VW has been working on a GTI version of the ID.3 called the ID.X prototype. And VW's CEO Ralf Brandstätter, as spotted by Motor1, revealed some of the details on his LinkedIn page.
The ID.X is based on the ID.3 hatchback, with powertrain components cribbed from the ID.4 GTX. It has a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system that puts out 329 horsepower, more powerful than any ID car thus far. It's also 441 pounds lighter than the other ID cars. Brandstätter notes that the ID.X can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds and has a drift mode.
That all sounds basically perfect. Alas, Brandstätter explicitly stated that the ID.X hot hatch "will not be a production vehicle," but VW will incorporate elements from it in other cars. Brandstätter notably made no mention of the ID.X range, suggesting that such a vehicle may be far from being production-ready.
VW has evolved massively over the past few years. SUVs, less than 20 percent of VW's sales in America five years ago, now make up more than 60 percent. So, sadly, getting a hot hatchback like the ID.X to market in the future will be far less of a core business concern than it once was.