Ready for the World’s First EV Hot Hatch? It Could Be This VW ID.3 GTE
28 October 2019 - autoevolution
Volkswagen recently revealed the production version of its ID.3 all-electric hatchback, and while many people were wondering what its range was or how much space there was inside, I was seeing its hot hatch potential.
Hear me out here. The ID.3 isn't particularly sporty looking, certainly less so than the average Golf (because it's bigger and somehow looks more people carrier-like), but that doesn't mean it couldn't be turned into something sporty.
First, this is a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive vehicle. Its electric motor already pumps out a very respectable 150 kW (201 hp) and 310 Nm (228 pound-feet) of torque, enabling it to sprint to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. VW says that there will be an even more powerful version of the electric motor available, with 200 kW (272 horsepower) - this motor drops the ID.3's benchmark sprint time to 5.5 seconds.
It's this more powerful motor that could be associated with a harder, more focused version of the ID.3, one that would not only be better on a twisty road, but also look more like the hot hatches we're used to. This vehicle really needs a sporty makeover because in standard trim, while quirky and interesting to look at, it's not really that enticing.
ou don't look at an ID.3 and immediately think "yes, I want to hoon the wheels off this thing." But a hot hatch variant would make sense and since it's a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the handling could be dialed in to be really sweet - maybe even better than that of the front-wheel drive Golf GTI.
Lowered and stiffened suspension, bigger brakes and a forgiving traction control system, and an ID.3 hot hatch might actually prove to be a worthy canyon carving companion. Sure, it won't be as thrilling as the aforementioned GTI to thread down a winding road, but with plenty of (instant) power and good handling, I see no reason why it couldn't prove that there is a future for the hot hatch in a post-internal combustion engine future.
There is a chance VW is planning exactly this and reserving it for the higher-powered, long-range version of the ID.3. This variant of the all-electric hatch has yet to be revealed - in fact, you can only order the mid-range ID3 1st launch edition right now and the automaker has not said when it will add more powertrain options.
It would be a smart move on VW's part to make a more aggressive version of the ID.3, because it is one of the original creators of the hot hatch. Buyers would, I'm sure, be more interested in an electric hot hatch from VW than, say, from Hyundai or Fiat.
Very few people have had the chance to drive the ID.3 as of right now, but those that have say it drivers quite nicely. It doesn't feel distinctly rear-engined, because of the heavy battery pack in the middle that evens out its weight distribution, but it's driving experience is apparently not devoid of fun - we'll have to get back to you on this because right now we have no idea what that means.
Making modifications to its suspension, beefing up its brakes and allowing for the traction control to be fully switched off will surely help it be more fun. If you also make it look less like a techy potato on (big) wheels, and more like a traditional hot hatch, there's definitely a shot it could make history.
Also keep in mind that while this isn't VW's first electric car (it was preceded by the e-Golf and e-Up!), it's its first real attempt at making one. And the last time VW launched a quirky-looking rear-engined car that was designed to be as efficient as possible, it changed the world.
Oh, and before you go, do check out below the rendering I made as I was trying to imagine what this hotter ID.3 might look like.