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Geneva show: VW GTE concept steps up from CC

Design files: The Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE previews the car-maker's styling direction under design chief Walter de Silva.

VW Sport Coupe Concept GTE to be positioned above CC as 4 Series Gran Coupe rival


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3 Mar 2015

VOLKSWAGEN’S Sport Coupe Concept GTE may be a precursor to the CC successor, but don’t hold your breath for one just yet, as production isn’t scheduled to commence before 2017 at the earliest.

Growing in every dimension except for height compared with the existing Passat-derived four-door sedan, the showcar also previews the German car-maker's new styling language under the direction of Volkswagen AG head of design, Walter de Silva.

"Evolution and revolution come together in the Sport Coupe Concept GTE,” Mr de Silva said. “This concept is based on Volkswagen design DNA, which has been visibly sharpened even more. It shows how the highest-volume brand of our Group is shaping the immediate future."The new corporate look is strongest at the front of the car, with headlights, grille and protruding ‘VW’ roundel streamlined into a single complete form featuring sharp angles and horizontal lines. ‘3D’ is the desired effect both front and rear.

Applying specifically to the showcar, an extended bonnet, flattened curved roofline silhouette and rear pillars that meld seamlessly into the Kamm-back style boot create less of a three-box sedan shape than before.

As with the existing seven-year old CC coupe sedan, the production Sport Concept GTE will sit between the Passat and European-market Phaeton limousine, but will be further differentiated from the former in sizing, pricing and positioning, with no shared visible panels and a substantial increase in interior space to match the larger exterior dimensions.

One of the main points of difference will be the move to a five-door liftback configuration, broadening the Sport Concept GTE’s appeal in Europe and Australia.

As with the upcoming B8 Passat due in Australia late this year that will serve as the next CC’s chassis and drivetrain donor, the newcomer will have a 50mm-longer wheelbase, wider tracks and shorter front and rear overhangs than the car it replaces, to give it a much better on-road stance.

Predictably, the platform lurking underneath is Volkswagen’s MQB modular transverse matrix platform first seen on the latest Audi A3 and Golf.

Meanwhile, the 'GTE’ part of the Sport Concept GTE name refers to Volkswagen’s hybrid drivetrain technology nomenclature.

Underneath that long bonnet is a 220kW/500Nm 3.0-litre direct-injection V6 turbo petrol powerplant matched with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission with drive-by-wire shift logic, driving the front wheels, while a pair of electric motors (40kW and 85kW) and a centrally mounted 10.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack providing torque to the rear axle helps the car hit 100km/h from standstill in five seconds flat. Maximum power output is 279kW combined.

About 55km of pure electric drive is possible, total range is 1199km thanks to an NEDC combined fuel consumption rating of 2.4 litres per 100km and 46 grams per kilometre, and battery recharging is via an external plug.

In contrast to the busy exterior jewellery, the Sport Concept GTE’s four-seater interior is a study of restrained yet premium simplicity, showing clean glossy surfaces surrounding a massive high-tech display screen, bisecting a console created to impart a sense of cocooning yet luxuriously cosseting sportiness.

The aforementioned wheelbase stretch and flattened roofline is said to improve rear-seat passenger headroom dramatically.

Key rivals will be the BMW 4 Series Gran coupe and its upcoming Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan-based response, as well as the Volvo S60, Audi A5 Sportback and Lexus IS.

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