Volkswagen has released a seven-second clip on the X social media platform to vaguely suggest a new car will break cover next week. We strongly believe the red line is a reference to the GTI, but what do the folks from Wolfsburg plan to show at the IAA Munich? We can rule out the Golf GTI facelift since the regular hatchback hasn't received its mid-cycle update yet. That should happen in the first half of 2024, so the refreshed GTI should debut later.
The smaller Polo GTI was facelifted in mid-2021 and got an Edition 25 special version earlier this year to mark a quarter of a century since the original hot supermini debuted. As for the up! GTI, the diminutive hot hatch was retired at the beginning of the year and is unlikely to return. Okay, then what exactly is VW teasing here? Well, it might be a different GTI breed, one without a combustion engine.
At the beginning of the month, VW trademarked a new GTI logo that replaced the "I" with a lightning bolt, therefore alluding to electric power. Earlier this year, VW's Board Member for Technical Development Kai Grünitz told Top Gear magazine that a "sporty version" of the ID2.all is in the works, complete with front-wheel drive to remain faithful to the GTI formula. Being electric, that would mean it's going to be badged as a "GTX" but the German automaker has already said the suffix might not survive in the long run.
After all, it wouldn't make sense to drop the hugely popular "GTI" suffix that has been around for decades in favor of the lesser-known "GTX" only used for a couple of SUVs so far, with a minivan (ID. Buzz GTX) on the way. A spicy ID.3 is also planned, and time will tell which terminology it will use.
Meanwhile, the IAA Munich starts on Monday, September 4, with the press day, so we'll find out what's what very soon. We'd bet the cryptic teaser is about GTI as the Jetta GLI with its similar red stripe isn't sold in Europe and what would be the point of showing it at a Euro-focused event?