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Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen brand, says the GTI badge will only be used on hot hatches, namely the Up, Polo and Golf, thereby quashing rumours of GTI crossover.

In a recent interview Diess told Autocar, “I think with the three [GTI models] we have now, we are set”.


Above: The recently revealed Up GTI Concept.

He outlined the company’s thinking on the matter: “GTI for us is the hot hatch: a sporty car, classless, with potential for everyday use and accessible for many. It should be this car — a hot hatch.”

That said, Volkswagen has other performance sub-brands on hand for models that aren’t named Up, Polo or Golf.

For the upcoming T-Roc crossover, which will slot in underneath the Tiguan, Diess hinted at a performance variant, possibly using the R badge.

When asked if a performance version of the upcoming ID electric hatchback was on the cards, Volkswagen’s boss indicated such a variant is not currently part of the company’s thinking.

Instead, Volkswagen may expand its range of sporty GTE plug-in hybrid models. The company has pivoted towards electric and hybrid vehicles in the wake of the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal, providing ample ground for a potential GTE expansion to flourish.

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