The new hybrid-powered compact coupe concept car has a top speed of 141mph and accelerates to 60 in 8.1 seconds.
Looking quite a bit like a mini-A5, one wonders if VW is again stepping on Audi’s toes with this concept.
The similarities to currently available Audi products can be seen in more than one spot and from more than one angle.
Audi/VW could be guilty of a simple case of quasi-self flattering, but–very likely–Audi execs find it to be disconcerting. Cannibalism or not, at first glance, it’s pleasing to the eye.
The compact coupe has a solid stance, handsome profile, appropriate proportions, and very well resolved surfacing.
All this encapsulates a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain mated to a 7-speed DSG… and its driver will be quite comfortable in what appears to be a well laid out, cleanly detailed, and nicely appointed interior.
The front end graphics seem to ask “Am I a GTI or an A4?” and overall the exterior seems to be wrestling with the identity crisis one could easily and equally associate with an up-market VW or a down-market Audi. So then, it is what it is, and VW slots it nicely between the Scirocco and Passat CC.
A favorite surfacing solution might be the bevel on the lower body side, present for the entire length; it sprouts from the lower intake in the front valence, jogs around the front wheel well opening (forming the ‘wheel well flat’) back down to just above the door sill, and wraps the rear well before blending into the rear bumper.
It’s a crisp character line for the rest of the bodyside to adhere to, and is subtle enough to allow for light catches to punctuate the rocker and both front and rear overhangs without looking overly busy.
Adding cohesion and a bit more finish than might be expected, it does an excellent job of lowering and lengthening the vehicle, and plants it more firmly on the ground.
The only point of contention on an otherwise quite excellently executed exterior could be the design of the rear lamps.
They seem to fall short of the modernity of the accented, multi-element headlamps and lack the commitment and assertion that is featured so prominently elsewhere (such as the integrated decklid spolier and that aggressive front air dam).
The following is straight from the VW press release:
For Volkswagen this marks the beginning of an action-packed year, in which more new models will be introduced than ever before in the company’s history. Number 1 on the spectacular list of new products for calendar year 2010 is a car based on entirely new concepts and technology, a coupe with a hybrid drive that is extremely fast and yet futuristic in its fuel economy.
It has sports appeal and sharp styling yet is remarkably elegant – positioned between Europe’s bestselling sports car, the Scirocco, and the internationally successful CC.
Its name: the New Compact Coupe. Site of its world premiere: Detroit, North American International Auto Show (January 11 to 24).
Combined fuel consumption: 4.2 l/100 km (45 mpg)! CO2 emissions: 98 g/km! Incredible, considering its fuel economy, are its top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph) and the short 8.6 seconds it needs for the classic sprint to 100 km/h (0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds).
These values were made technically feasible by a high-tech alliance: a TSI engine (gasoline powered with 110 kW / 150 PS) that is as fuel efficient as it is sporty, an electric motor (20 kW / 27 PS) and a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) which in the eyes of many car drivers is the best automatic in the world today. Just over a month after the debut of the most fuel-efficient four-seater in the world – the Up! Lite in Los Angeles – this new concept car confirms once again that future Volkswagen hybrid vehicles will not only focus on fuel economy, but – similar to pure gasoline and diesel versions of Europe’s most successful autoÂmobile brand – will also aim to be sporty and fun to drive.
In the first half of the year, Volkswagen will launch its first hybrid model on the market under the VW label – an SUV with full-time all-wheel drive.
Meanwhile, the New Compact Coupe shows, both technically and visually, how Volkswagen envisions a front-wheel drive hybrid for the compact class that would be implemented when the time is right.