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322bhp Volkswagen ID.3 GTX hot hatch eyes the MG4 XPower 

The affordable performance EV market is hotting up as Volkswagen unveils its first electric hot hatchback 

Volkswagen has expanded its high performance GTX range with a hot version of the ID.3 hatchback, designed to take on the MG4 XPower. Launched alongside the dual-motor ID.7 GTX saloon, the model follows behind the ID.4 and ID.5 GTX in the range and will make its market debut later this year. Pricing is yet to be announced, but expect to pay well over £40,000.

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The ID.3 GTX and GTX Performance will make up Volkswagen’s EV hot hatch range for now, with the latter providing extra power. While the ordinary GTX makes do with 282bhp, the GTX Performance produces a Golf R-beating 322bhp – both offer a peak torque figure of 402lb ft. 

> MG4 XPower review – the price-to-performance king

While these numbers sound impressive, the MG4 XPower currently leads the class with a far higher 429bhp output. Given that the current 201bhp ID.3 range-topper already starts from £40,050, the ID.3 GTX won’t be able to come close to the MG’s £36,495 price tag either…

With drive coming from a single rear-mounted motor, the GTX doesn’t offer the kind of headline-grabbing performance we’ve come to expect from EVs. The GTX Performance range-topper manages the 0-62mph sprint in 5.6sec, with the non-Performance taking an additional four tenths – top speeds stand at 124mph and 111mph respectively. For reference, the 316bhp Golf R achieves a 4.7sec 0-62mph sprint, with the all-wheel drive MG4 XPower taking only 3.9sec.

The GTX’s performance upgrade comes courtesy of an optimised rear motor assembly and a new 79kWh battery pack mounted under the floor, capable of accepting charge at up to 175kW and providing an impressive 373-mile range – Volkswagen says 26 minutes is enough to top up from 10-80 per cent. 

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Opt for the GTX Performance and you get DCC adaptive chassis control as standard, offering greater control over damping depending on the conditions. Both cars feature MacPherson front and five-link rear suspension setups. 

Kai Grünitz, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management, said: '...the new ID.3 GTX Performance is for me the electric counterpart to our sporty compact icon, the Golf GTI Clubsport. Of course, an electric drive and a turbocharged petrol engine each have their own unique character. Yet the ID.3 GTX Performance and the Golf GTI Clubsport share the same fascinating lightness when they accelerate.'

Design is consistent with the newly-facelifted ID.3 range, but the GTX does receive subtle tweaks in-line with its performance credentials. A GTX-specific bumper includes more angular, aggressive intakes, with a new rear diffuser, new side sills and the roof all finished in gloss black. The daytime running lights within the standard IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights have also been redesigned for a more aggressive aesthetic, with 20-inch diamond cut (or black as an option) Skagen wheels standard  wrapped in 215- or 235-section tyres for the GTX and GTX Performance respectively.

The cabin receives the same ergonomic tweaks as the ordinary facelifted ID.3, but premium sports seats are standard, trimmed in recycled fabric with GTX branding. There’s red contrast stitching to be found throughout the cabin, with the ID.3’s 12.9-inch infotainment system featuring a ChatGPT-powered voice assistant.

Details on UK pricing and availability will be announced later this year, but expect to pay around £45,000 for the Volkswagen ID.3 GTX when it goes on sale.

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