Volkswagen will retire GTX name to make way for hot GTI and R EVs

Volkswagen will retire its GTX branding for sporting EVs to make way for its first electric GTI and R models.

The GTX badge was first used for warmed-up, range-topping versions of the Volkswagen ID 4 and ID 5 SUVs in 2021, and has since been extended across the wider ID family, with more potent GTX versions of the ID 3, ID 7 and ID Buzz revealed in recent weeks.  

Initially, the GTX badge was set to be reserved exclusively for twin-motor, performance-oriented EVs, but the hot new ID 3 GTX remains powered by only a single motor at the rear.

But despite the GTX line-up having been significantly expanded of late, Volkswagen CEO Thomas Schäfer has confirmed the branding will be phased out as Volkswagen ramps up to electrify the GTI and R performance brands. 

“GTX is the performance brand of the MEB [platform], but we’ll work our way back to GTI and R in the next products going forward,” he told Autocar.

Volkswagen revealed the ID GTI concept (below) last year as preview of an electric successor to the Golf GTI hot hatch, which is due on sale in early 2027. It is not yet known whether the badge will be rolled out to other electric Volkswagens; it is currently used only for the hot Polo and Golf. 

volkswagen id gti 2023 front quarter static 0

Schäfer said Volkswagen is still shaping the future of the GTI brand internally, but emphasised the importance of staying true to its roots. “The question is: how do we position GTI? GTI is traditionally performance and front-wheel drive.”

Volkswagen has yet to give any clues to what an electric R car could look like, but has confirmed that R will become an electric-only performance brand by 2030.

Schäfer said it will still be used “for four-wheel-drive performance” cars, as it has been for the past two decades. The brand has previously suggested an R version of the Mk9 electric Golf is likely to arrive around 2029. 

GTI and R, he emphasised, will have “clear genes going forward”.

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