The 322-HP ID.3 GTX Is Volkswagen’s First Electric Hot Hatch

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Volkswagen is finally dipping its toes in the electric hot hatch segment with the ID.3 GTX. Essentially a sister model to the Cupra Born VZ, the sporty EV comes in two flavors. There’s a base GTX and a spicy GTX Performance with the single most powerful electric motor ever developed by VW.

Stick to the regular ID.3 GTX and you get an electric motor on the rear axle with 282 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque. Upgrade to the Performance model and VW will up the power ante to 322 hp while torque remains the same. Predictably, these higher output figures perfectly match those of the Cupra Born VZ.

Volkswagen ID.3 GTX

The rear-wheel-drive hot hatch takes six seconds to hit 62 miles per hour from a standstill for the regular GTX, or 5.6 seconds if you upgrade to the GTX Performance. Top speed is electronically capped at 111 mph and 124 mph, respectively. VW says the more potent of the two models is an electric companion to the front-wheel-drive Golf GTI Clubsport.

Both GTXs share a lithium-ion battery pack with a usable energy capacity of 79 kilowatt-hours. It supports DC charging at 175 kilowatts, in which case the battery will be replenished from 10 to 80 percent in around 26 minutes. With a fully charged battery, the ID.3 GTX models are estimated to cover 373 miles in the combined WLTP cycle. The battery is mounted within the floor in the middle of the vehicle for better weight distribution.

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Volkswagen ID.3 GTX

As with the ID.4 GTX and ID.5 GTX, VW made the ID.3 GTX look more exciting with a redesigned front bumper with a bigger air intake and a diamond-shaped pattern, flanked by boomerang LEDs serving as daytime running lights. At the rear, the performance model gets a diffuser with a glossy black finish to match the dark mirror caps, side sills, and window frame. In addition, there are fresh 20-inch wheels with 215-section tires on the GTX and wider 235-section rubber on the GTX Performance.

The interior gets red accents aplenty. There are electrically adjustable sporty front seats with integrated headrests, GTX badging, and fabric made from recycled material. All ID.3s will have a new 12.9-inch infotainment system and a separate driving mode selector lever on the steering column. Better late than never, the touch sliders for the volume and AC are finally illuminated, much like on the recently launched Golf Mk8.5.

The ID.3 GTX isn’t coming to America, as far as we know. But in Europe, it essentially competes in a segment of two alongside the Cupra Born VZ. The most direct rival we can think of is the MG4 XPower, but that model is blessed with dual motors, all-wheel drive, and a healthy 429 hp. There are smaller EVs worth mentioning, such as the Abarth 500e and the upcoming Alpine A290. Before the year ends, we’ll also see a John Cooper Works (JCW) version of the new electric Mini Cooper 3-Door.

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Volkswagen ID.3 GTX
Volkswagen ID.3 GTX

Looking into the future, VW has already suggested the ninth-generation, electric-only Golf will supersede the ID.3 since there’s no place for both in the lineup. If that happens, the GTX will become the GTI as the German brand intends to retain the three famous letters. It has even trademarked a new logo with the “I” (which stands for injection) replaced by a lightning bolt.