Though electric cars are becoming a more common sight on our roads, manufacturers have struggled to make them quite as exciting to drive as more performance-orientated combustion-engined models, like hot hatches. Though EVs offer the straight-line performance to outclass more mundane petrol and diesel models by some margin, they can sometimes feel a little cold - particularly to the enthusiast driver.
Volkswagen is looking to address this with its new GTX range of cars. Its ID.4 is the first to get this special treatment, which brings a range of mechanical tweaks which look to elevate the driving experience even further, bringing it closer into line with those you get from cars such as the Golf GTI. Is this an electric car keen drivers can get excited about? We’ve been finding out.
The ID.4 GTX is the first Volkswagen to boast an all-wheel-drive powertrain, courtesy of two electric motors with one placed on each axle. Thanks to 295bhp and 310Nmm of torque, the GTX will manage the 0-60mph sprint in six seconds, which is slightly quicker than a Golf GTI. Overall, the GTX is 93bhp more powerful than the previously most-potent ID.4, the Pro Performance.
You get a 77kWh battery, too, which should return up to 301 miles between charges. It’s also rated to accept a charge of up to 125kW, which means that an 80 per cent charge could take just 38 minutes when hooked up to the appropriate unit. Connect the GTX to a conventional 7.2kW wallbox, too, and a full charge will take around 12 hours and 40 minutes.
Ride and handling
Volkswagen has comprehensively revised the kind of mechanical and electronic help you get on the GTX compared with the regular ID.4. For instance, the steering setup has been changed to give a better sense of connection while an electronic locking differential and sports suspension have both been fitted to help the GTX handle in a slightly sharper fashion. Top-spec cars also boast Dynamic Chassis Control so that you can soften off or stiffen up the ride, too.
All of this combines to create a car that is a lot more exciting to drive than the standard ID.4. The ride is significantly firmer of course, but this means there’s less body roll through the corners, while the added steering weight helps to give you added confidence. There’s plenty of traction courtesy of the all-wheel-drive system too, while the instant torque of the electric motors means you’re never short of acceleration when you need it.
It’s pretty much standard Volkswagen fare in the cabin of the GTX. As we’ve come to expect, there are very few buttons or physical controls, with the vast majority of functions controlled via the central infotainment system. Much like the regular car, however, we’ve got absolutely loads of space, with the forward occupants treated to a clear and open view of the road ahead and those in the back able to take advantage of good amounts of leg and headroom.
In terms of boot space, the GTX does well, too. There are 543 litres as standard, though this can be increased to 1,575 litres by folding the rear seats down.
As one of the tip-top ID.4 variants, it’ll come as little surprise that the GTX is packed with equipment. As well as all of those mechanical revisions we’ve discussed earlier, you get 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control and a large 12-inch colour touchscreen which is where you’ll access all of your key media and navigation functions, as well as those for heating and ventilation. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included too, as is a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel and plenty of ambient lighting.
If you’re after more equipment, then there’s the GTX Max. This adds electric seats and three-zone climate control as well as a variety of assistance systems. A heat pump is included as standard too, which helps to boost the overall efficiency of the powertrain.
Off the bat, the regular GTX comes in at £48,510, so it sits within the mid-range of EVs in terms of price. Bear in mind that you’re all getting plenty of upgrades over the regular ID.4 and that driving experience is completely transformed too.
Prices do increase to £55,540 for the GTX Max, but you do get a lot more equipment for the money as well as the addition of standard-fit Dynamic Chassis Control, which really does help to make the GTX more comfortable during day-to-day driving.
The GTX feels like a great addition to Volkswagen’s ID-badged line-up of cars. It’s a lot more exciting to drive than the standard ID.4 and that’s something that shouldn’t be sniffed at in this segment, where driver involvement can often be lacking.
Is it a genuine alternative to the Golf GTI? It’s not quite there yet - but it certainly isn’t far off. However, given the savings that the electric powertrain in the ID.4 brings, it might be enough to steer potential Golf buyers towards this car instead.
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