Unveiled at the Beijing motor show, the four door closely previews a new Jetta-based model that will slot into the Volkswagen line-up beneath the existing CC model – as first reported about by Autocar back in 2012.
Volkswagen design boss Klaus Bischoff describes the NMC as an “avant-garde protagonist for a new compact saloon class”. Looking all but ready for production, it continues the current Volkswagen design lineage, with crisp feature lines, heavily horizontal detailing and taut surfacing – all aimed at providing it with a technical-inspired appearance.
A simple grille and LED headlamps span the width of the front end, giving the new car clear family ties to other recent new Volkswagen models. In a bid to provide it with an added sense of sportiness, VW designers have taken inspiration from the CC in providing the NMC with a heavily curved roofline, frameless doors and a notchback-style rear.
At 4597mm in length, 1838mm in width and 1422mm in height, the NMC is 48mm shorter, 58mm wider and 58mm lower than the existing Jetta, with which the production version is expected to share its 2650m wheelbase. By comparison, the CLA measures 4630mm in length, 1777mm in width and 1432mm in height, while riding on a 2699mm wheelbase.
To enhance the stance of the concept on show in Beijing, the Volkswagen design team has provided it with towering 20-inch wheels shod with 245/40 profile rubber.
Volkswagen claims the NMC boasts similar levels of interior accommodation to the Jetta, with room for five adults. Its claimed 500 litres of boot space is just 10 litres less than that offered by its more conventional four-door sibling.
In an indication that the production version of the NMC will offer more than adequate performance, the concept on show in Beijing sports the same 217bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine as the seventh-generation Golf GTI.
The transversely mounted unit sends its power to the road via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, providing the front-wheel-drive sedan with a theoretical 0-62mph time of of 6.5sec, 152mph top speed and combined cycle consumption of 44.1mpg.
The production version of the NMC is due to be produced both at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico and a joint venture factory in China. Underpinning the Mercedes-Benz CLA-rivalling sedan will be Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform.