Volkswagen’s (ETR: VOW) Sport Coupé Concept GTE got its first debut at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, heralding a new and progressive Volkswagen design language.
“Evolution and revolution come together in the Sport Coupé Concept GTE. 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,”Walter de Silva, Head of Design of Volkswagen AG,” Walter de Silva, Head of Design of Volkswagen said in a press release.
It is the next step in VW’s evolution of hybrid high-performance models, coming with a distinctive design language. Part of its push to make a statement in the automotive world, the recently showcased concept provides us with a glimpse of the German car maker’s future. It also shows us in what direction may we expect the four-door coupe models will head for as well.
Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Development, elaborates:
“This breathtakingly dynamic coupé is unlike any other to appear in this class. The design of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE is an impressive alternative to the classic sedans of the B and C segments—it has the style of a sport coupé that is enriched by the functionality of a large hatchback and the interior space of a sedan.” Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Brand, adds: “The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is another milestone of expressive design. With this concept car, Volkswagen is not only showing a new model’s design, but also initial glimpses of a new design era.”
You will immediately notice the VW’s current design philosophy implemented with this concept. While the front grille and headlights have been connected in design cues on many models by different car makers lately, the whole sleek profile of this vehicle is seldom seen in production form. On the other hand, the large rear boot opening, similar to five-door sedans of the past does provide a healthy dose of utility and practicality. The larger wheels added to the concept will probably be lost in entry-level trim levels of the probable production model. On the contrary, we believe that the frameless doors, particularly sleek door handles and the elongated hood will find its way into the production model sketches later on. Overall, the German car maker is providing yet another alternative to the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW when the four-door coupes are in question.
The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is powered by a plug-in hybrid drive system that is both economical and sporty. The current concept car uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre TSI V6 direct-injection engine that produces 295 horsepower (220 kW) and maximum torque of 369 pound feet. The electrical components consist of a lithium-ion battery that’s housed in the center tunnel and two electric motors. The 54-hp (40 kW0 front motor is integrated in the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and the rear electric motor develops 114 hp (85 kW). The total available system power is 374 hp (279 kW).
If necessary, the system’s power can be distributed to all four wheels thanks to the rear electric motor and an “electric driveshaft”. In the sporty GTE mode, the 155 mph coupé accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 5.0 seconds. Despite this dynamic performance, the concept car has an EC combined fuel consumption of 118 mpg. In addition, the Sport Coupé Concept GTE can be driven all-electrically, with zero emissions, for a distance of at least 32 miles. The total driving range on one tank of gasoline is more than 745 miles.
There are several driving modes to choose from: hybrid, e-mode, GTE, battery charge and battery hold, and finally, the electric drive all-wheel drive system can be engaged, fully utilizing the power available for the driver.
The interior design is probably the most appealing part of this vehicle. It showcases an abundance of options, but keeps it clean at the same time. Current Volkswagen owners may recognize several design features, but also have the interior design grow to them in matter of seconds as well. The elongated front face of the car’s dashboard provides us with an onlook to current VW Passat. The four-seater option allows all the space and interior comfort to be used. Generally, the technological aspect mix well with business like personality of the concept, providing both the driver and their passengers plenty of comfort. We’ll just have to see how much of this concept’s design cues and solutions makes it to the production version.