Volkswagen Announces ID.4 GTX, Doubles Battery Pack Production
For years, the letters GTI were used by Volkswagen to identify cars with a higher level of performance than their more ordinary stablemates. GTI models tended to have a bit more spunk in the engine compartment, better brakes, tighter damping, and some flash in the interior that let drivers know they had their hands on something special.
But the GTI designation has always been associated with cars powered by gasoline engines. In the electric car era, Volkswagen has decided to create a new designation for performance models that is unique to its EVs. Going forward, such cars will carry GTX badging on their flanks. The very first model to receive that designation will be the ID.4 GTX, which will be officially unveiled on April 28.
“The letters GT have long stood for driving pleasure,” says Klaus Zellmer, board member for marketing and sales at for the Volkswagen brand. “Now the X is building the bridge to the mobility of the future. Sustainability and sportiness are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other intelligently.”
The most significant feature of GTX models will be the addition of an electric motor driving the front wheels. “The additional motor switches on intelligently within a few milliseconds when very high performance or strong traction are required. In the new ‘Traction’ driving mode, it is even permanently activated,” the company says. “In addition, sporty design details and their own light signature underline the top performance of the GTX models.”
Battery Pack Expansion At Braunschweig Factory
The battery packs for Volkswagen’s electric cars are assembled at its Bruanschweig factory. That facility was capable of producing 250,000 battery packs for MEB based cars a year but its capacity has now been doubled to 500,000 packs a year.
“The strong demand for attractive and affordable electric models based on the modular electric drive matrix has the lines of the first expansion stage working at full capacity, so we have fired up the second stage. As such, the component is underpinning the Group’s unprecedented electric campaign”, says Thomas Schmall, head of Volkswagen group components. “Volkswagen Group Components has taken on the management of the ‘Battery Cell & Battery System’ and ‘Charging & Energy’ business units within the Volkswagen Group, and plans to use its economies of scale and innovative power to develop optimum batteries and charging offers for Volkswagen customers. Within this, thanks to its development and manufacturing competence for battery systems, the Braunschweig site has been assigned a key role,” he adds.
Production of the battery packs uses the latest welding, adhesive, and sealing techniques. The packs include the cell modules and a control unit to form the actual battery system.
Within the press release, Volkswagen announced that the Braunschweig factory is also ramping production of battery packs for plug-in hybrid cars. It provides 50,000 such packs each year at present but that number is expected to increase to 300,000 by 2023, which gives us some insight into Volkswagen’s future plans for electrified cars.
In footnotes to both press releases, Volkswagen gave some information about the efficiency of the electric cars it builds. Here’s the breakout:
- ID.3, combined power consumption in kWh/100 km (NEDC): 15.4 to 13.1
- ID.4, power consumption in kWh/100 km (NEDC): 16.9–15.5
- ID.4 GTX, combined power consumption in kWh/100 km (NEDC): 19.8–18.1
- ŠKODA ENYAQ iV 50, combined power consumption in kWh/100 km: 14.6
- ŠKODA ENYAQ iV 60, combined power consumption in kWh/100 km: 14.4
- ŠKODA ENYAQ iV 80, combined power consumption in kWh/100 km: 16.0
- e up!, combined power consumption in kWh/100 km: 12.7
- SEAT Mii electric, combined power consumption (NEDC) in kWh/100 km: 12.9–12.7
- ŠKODA Citigo e iV, combined power consumption (NEDC) in kWh/100 km: 12.8–12.9
- Golf GTE, combined fuel consumption in l/100 km (NEDC): 1.5, combined power consumption in kW/h/100 km: 11.4, CO₂ emissions (combined) in g/km: 38
Those numbers will help shoppers compare one electric car with others in the market. In the old days, horsepower and torque were what got people’s attention. In the electric car future, efficiency will be the most important number, as people seek the most efficient car their money can buy.