Volkswagen Acknowledges Public Preference for GTI Name over ‘GTX’ for Electric Vehicles

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By Car Brand Experts

The attempt at renaming the iconic GTI to GTX for Volkswagen’s electric cars was short-lived. It seems the majority was not in favor of this change. Similarly to Mercedes’ decision to not label all their EVs as “EQ-something,” Volkswagen now understands that altering long-standing naming traditions is not the most effective way to introduce people to an electrified range of vehicles.

In a discussion with Autocar, Volkswagen’s Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Schäfer, confirmed the discontinuation of the GTX name from upcoming EV models as the brand expands its electrified selection to include GTI and R variants. Schäfer expressed, “GTX serves as the performance branding of the MEB platform, however, we are transitioning back to GTI and R in our forthcoming products.” 

Initially introduced in 2019, GTX was established as a new sub-brand to distinguish the electric ID models. The addition of “X” in GTX was intended to signal a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive configuration for performance-oriented vehicles. However, with the introduction of the single-motor ID.3 GTX, the meaning associated with the “X” designation became unclear. 

Removing a performance specification prematurely seems straightforward, especially with the GTI and R labels readily available. However, it might pose some complexities.

Schäfer recognizes the significance of upholding the performance heritage associated with GTI and R models but concedes that the matter isn’t as straightforward as he would prefer. “The question remains: how do we position GTI?,” he pondered. “GTI has traditionally been associated with performance and front-wheel drive.” This was exemplified in the ID.GTI concept. Nonetheless, the current modular MEB platform utilized for the ID series leans towards rear-wheel drive. Perhaps GTI-X or GTIx could be potential alternatives?

Contrarily, the path for the R brand appears clearer as it has symbolized “four-wheel drive performance” for the last two decades at Volkswagen. Though the automaker hasn’t unveiled an electrified R model or concept yet, the high-performance sub-brand is expected to be exclusively electric by 2030. While there is no definite timeline for the official retirement of GTX, currently badged models will retain their names. Therefore, for now, GTX continues to exist. One of its recent editions is the ID Buzz GTX, unveiled in March. However, Americans shouldn’t get too attached to the idea of a sports van as Volkswagen has no plans to introduce it in the U.S. market. It seems one can’t miss what was never there to begin with.

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