Volkswagen unveil hybrid-powered luxury C Coupé GTE concept in Shanghai
This is the Volkswagen C Coupé GTE concept, important because it previews the future look and technology of the Wolfsburg company’s future top-end premium class models. The concept is powered by a 207bhp four-cylinder petrol engine mated to an eight-speed gearbox comprising an electric motor. VW says that the total output is 242bhp and 369lb ft of torque and provides the C Coupe GTE with the ability to travel 31 miles on pure battery power via the 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery at speeds of up to 81mph. It can accelerate to 62mph in 8.6 seconds and is able to pull away in electric mode before the engine cuts in. It emits just 55g/km of CO2 and, driven carefully, is able to achieve up to 102mpg. The cruising range is a very impressive 684-miles.
Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s design chief, told first4auto: “The evolution of the VW design DNA shown here will accompany us worldwide – also on the way to the new Phaeton. The C Coupé GTE very clearly shows the new ‘face’ of top Volkswagen sedans for the first time.”
The striking exterior showcases VW’s emerging new design language. The C Coupe GTE suggests that this will be dominated by horizontal lines and sharp, precise edges. Measuring more than five metres long, the C Coupe GTE is 1,930mm wide with a front track measuring 1,634mm and a rear one not much shorter at 1,624mm. Set into a huge 3,001mm wheelbase, it sits on concept-car size 22-inch wheels. It sits on the same MLB platform that underpins other cars in the VW Group stable, such as the Audi A6.
A significant aspect of the concept’s design is what VW calls the “prestige clearance”. This effectively is the distance between the front door shutline and the centre of the front axle. The company says that the “longer this measurement, the longer the bonnet can be without increasing the front overhang.”
We think the new design direction is very attractive and could showcase a car to sit above the Passat CC.
Being a luxury car, the C Coupé GTE has twin rear seats and what can be described as impressive rear leg room, commensurate with its target market of China. Despite its sporty profile, the car is actually designed to be driven by a chauffeur during the week with the owner taking over driving duties at the weekend. A ‘Chauffeur mode’ informs the employed driver about the owner’s schedule via the cars infotainment system. The satellite navigation system is then able to calculate the daily route. Rear seat passengers are also able to share data with the driver via the infotainment system.
The colour is also significant to the Chinese market, where gold is associated with wisdom, tolerance, patience and power. Volkswagen call the hue chosen ‘Golden Atmosphere’. Even the outline of the VW badge has been illuminated by a thin LED strip to provide ambient lighting to the outside of the car, as has the leading edge of the bonnet, the headlight bezels, wing vents and windscreen A-pillar.
This article was prepared by our car news team First4Auto
Associate Member of the Guild of Motoring Writers