New car offers a glimpse of a new sub-Phaeton model set for China

The Volkswagen C Coupe GTE concept has been revealed at the Shanghai motor show.

At slightly more than five metres long, the concept is 1930mm wide and has a 3001mm wheelbase. Wide tracks — 1634mm front and 1624mm rear — are complemented by 22in wheels.

The exterior is the most striking expression yet of VW’s developing design language, which is dominated by what the firm refers to as “horizontal lines and sharp, precise edges”.

VW also highlights what it calls the “prestige clearance” — the distance between the leading front door shutline and the centre of the front axle. According to VW, the “longer this measurement, the longer the bonnet can be without increasing the front overhang”.

The front-wheel-drive concept uses a four-cylinder 207bhp petrol engine coupled to an eight-speed gearbox and an electric motor, with VW claiming total system outputs of 242bhp and 369lb ft. It can travel 31 miles on the battery and has a 0-62mph time of 8.6sec with CO2 emissions of 55g/km. The transmission allows the car to pull away in electric mode before the engine cuts in. It also has a coasting function.

VW admits the C Coupe, which has impressive rear leg room and luxury twin rear seats, is aimed at the Chinese market. The car is designed to be driven by a chauffeur during the week and the owner at the weekend. It features a ‘Chauffeur mode’ which filters information about the owner’s schedule and transfers it to the infotainment system, so the chauffeur has a driving schedule and the sat-nav can calculate the day’s route.

In a further effort to appeal to buyers in China, where the colour gold is associated with wisdom, tolerance, patience and power, the paint finish has been dubbed ‘Golden Atmosphere’.

The exterior also features extensive ambient lighting. The outline of the VW badge is illuminated by a thin LED strip, as is the leading edge of the bonnet, the headlight bezels, wing vent details and windscreen A-Pillar.

There are no plans to bring the new model to Europe, where the Volkswagen Phaeton will remain the range-topper.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Phaeton
The Phaeton shares its platform with the Bentley Continental GT

The Volkswagen Phaeton’s decade-old platform needs more than a tweak to be a success in the luxury car market

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Comments
9

19 April 2015

VW also highlights what it calls the “prestige clearance” — the distance between the leading front door shutline and the centre of the front axle. According to VW, the “longer this measurement, the longer the bonnet can be without increasing the front overhang”. I wonder how many highly paid designers were employed to work this out this little gem? Hope the journos managed to keep a straight face when they heard/read this.

9 February 2016
Daniel Joseph wrote:

VW also highlights what it calls the “prestige clearance” — the distance between the leading front door shutline and the centre of the front axle. According to VW, the “longer this measurement, the longer the bonnet can be without increasing the front overhang”. I wonder how many highly paid designers were employed to work this out this little gem? Hope the journos managed to keep a straight face when they heard/read this.

Laughed too when I read that nonsense.

Just another way of saying that they moved the front wheel forward.

Almost going against the 1990s trend for "cab forward" designs in which the front A pillar meets the top of the wheelarch.

19 April 2015

Leaving aside the fact that VW Group products all look remarkably similar and this could be confused for a Passat on the road, I do think it looks nice. It's certainly better looking than the bulbous Mercedes-Benz S-Class, bland Audi A8 and 'big 5-series' BMW 7-Series. I wouldn't choose it over the Jaguar XJ or Maserati Quattroporte, though.

19 April 2015

And if, as expected, its resale plummets like a sofa thrown off a tower block, then I too will be getting those 'golden' vibes. In about 2019.

19 April 2015

"In a further effort to appeal to buyers in China, where the colour gold is associated with wisdom, tolerance, patience and power, the paint finish has been dubbed ‘Golden Atmosphere’."

Gold suggests money - pure & simple.

Kowtowing to the Chinese buyers aside, this shows that VW can do understated luxury very well. Talking of which, I wonder why Phaeton failed so miserably, whereas I don't recall negative criticism of the Bentley on which the Phaeton is based.

19 April 2015
Autocar wrote:

VW also highlights what it calls the “prestige clearance” — the distance between the leading front door shutline and the centre of the front axle. According to VW, the “longer this measurement, the longer the bonnet can be without increasing the front overhang”.

What does this: "prestige clearance," say about the Caterham Seven?

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

21 April 2015
Frightmare Bob wrote:
Autocar wrote:

VW also highlights what it calls the “prestige clearance” — the distance between the leading front door shutline and the centre of the front axle. According to VW, the “longer this measurement, the longer the bonnet can be without increasing the front overhang”.

What does this: "prestige clearance," say about the Caterham Seven?

Prestige seems to be an odd word to choose. I've always thought that this longer section added a more 'sporty' profile to a vehicle, one of the reasons I've always liked the proportions of a 1-Series BMW compared to, for example, the Golf. Either way, this CC Concept doesn't seem to feature it anyway.

19 April 2015

The "new" VW design direction is identical to the "new" Audi design direction: Increase wheel size and decrease glass house size.

20 April 2015

Looks the same to me.

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