Previously, we were under the impression that the Volkswagen Sport Coupé Concept GTE would preview the styling direction of the next-generation Passat CC. Much to our surprise, Volkswagen came up with this — a four-door coupe with a functional hatchback, clearly akin to the Audi A7.
Arguably, the concept looks great. The exterior design is a sharpened interpretation of the current Volkswagen DNA, blended with the direction the German automaker wants to take in the near future, as evidenced by its recent round of concepts debuting along the auto show circuit.
“The Sport Coupé Concept GTE is another milestone of expressive design”, elaborates Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Brand. “With this concept car, Volkswagen is not only showing a new model’s design, but also initial glimpses of a new design era.”
The most notable change from a design standpoint is in the front end of the vehicle, which merges the VW badge, headlights and radiator grille to form a new and fresh look for a Volkswagen front end. Said radiator grille borders new LED dual headlights, where they proceed to make an upward turn, giving the car an angular and sport-infused glare. Finally, the entire grille itself features four additional bars, each narrowing as the eye descends. Elegant, handsome and sporty are a few words that come to mind in describing the design.
If you guessed this car is riding on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, then you’d be 100 percent correct. The highly-versatile and flexible MQB architecture enables the four-door coupe to offer excellent rear legroom, retain a sleek greenhouse, yet provide more than enough usable headroom for an average adult.
Inside, a blend of technological advances rest alongside premium touches and even includes shift-by-wire technology for Volkswagen’s six-speed DSG transmission. A newly conceptualized Active Info Display with 3D graphics replaces analog speedometer and tachometer dials. And though the digital display mimics analog dials in its design, the dials seem to be floating. A power meter sits on the left and a speedometer on the right. The area between them is used for all sorts of information vehicle information.
Other interior highlights consist of a 12.3-inch touchscreen to handle media controls. There’s also a conceptualized driver biometric input, allowing the car to understand if one is focused on arriving at point B or is looking to experience maximum driving enjoyment, as well as car-to-car data evaluation to further hone navigation routes and battery conservation.
As we saw in the Volkswagen Cross Coupé GTE, the GTE signifies a performance interpretation of a PHEV — Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The powertrain is made up of an electric-hybrid combination providing efficiency and enough power to allow the car to reach 0-60 mph in five seconds.
The petrol motor base is a 3.0-liter TSI V6 producing 295 horses and 369 pound-feet of torque alone, while one electric motor making 54 horsepower is situated up front is mated to the six-speed transmission. An electric motor in the rear provides another an additional 114 horses. Altogether, the vehicle is rated at 374 horsepower when everything is working in concert to provide a sporting driving experience.
In addition, the Volkswagen Sport Coupé GTE may be driven in three distinct modes, which could be changed on the fly according to driver preference. The modes include:
- Hybrid: a classical full hybrid mode that charges the battery via regenerative braking and automatically uses the V6 engine and/or the electric motor, depending on the drive situation.
- E-Mode: only the 114 horsepower electric motor at the rear axle provides propulsive power. In all-electric driving, the V6 TSI is decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging the clutch and shutting off the motor. As soon as the six-cylinder engine needs to be used again — due to the battery’s charge state or other parameters — it is coupled to the drivetrain again within fractions of a second without any jolts.
- GTE: the driver uses the GTE button to switch to the most dynamic driving mode, which makes the throttle, transmission and steering characteristics even sportier. In addition, the V6 engine and the electric motors work together to deliver the full system output and the maximum system torque.
In all, the car can travel 32 miles on electric power alone, and Volkswagen says 745 miles in between fill-ups would not be unlikely, with a fuel consumption rating of 118 MPGe.
And if none of that makes it to market any time soon, you should at the least expect the styling to influence upcoming Volkswagens vehicles across the entire portfolio, especially the (Passat) CC.