New Compact Coupé revealed at Detroit is tipped to be launched in Europe
12 January 2010

Volkswagen has gone public on plans for a coupe variant of the next-gen Jetta with this near-to-production-ready concept, revealed at today’s Detroit show.

Dubbed New Compact Coupé (NCC), the two-door presages the look and mechanical layout of a new front-wheel-drive model that will be built at VW’s Puebla plant in Mexico, as part of ongoing plans to further penetrate the US market.

VW New Compact Coupé pics

Although the car is conceived primarily for North America, Volkswagen says a production version of the NCC could be sold in Europe as part of the sixth-generation Jetta line-up. The US does not receive the Scirocco, partly due to the high cost of importing it from its factory in Portugal and partly because American buyers prefer traditional three-box coupés to the Scirocco’s hatchback body.

While a future Jetta range is expected to share the same styling revealed by the NCC, the coupé will have a unique front end, faster screen angles, frameless doors and widened tracks. BMW employs similar tactics to differentiate the 3-series coupé from the saloon.

“We didn’t just want to put two doors on a Jetta,” said Klaus Bischoff, head of Volkswagen brand design. “Buyers expect more from a coupé these days. The changes are subtle but they help provide the NCC with its own visual flavour.”

At 4540mm long, 1780mm wide and 1410mm high, the NCC shares its dimensions with today’s Jetta. But with a rear track that has been lengthened by 30mm and a slightly lower ride height, it has a more planted stance. This is further enhanced on the Detroit show car by 19-inch alloy wheels, shod with 235/35 tyres.

The NCC’s drivetrain provides the first clues to how Volkswagen plans to add a petrol-electric hybrid option to selected volume-selling front-wheel-drive models, including the Golf and Jetta, from 2014.

The petrol engine is a 1.4-litre Twincharger, with 148bhp and 177lb ft of torque. It’s supported by an electric motor integrated into the gearbox; with 27bhp and 103lb ft, it draws electricity from a 1.1kWh lithium ion battery housed under the boot to boost the NCC’s overall output to 175bhp and 280lb ft.

Channelling the combined outputs to the front wheels is Volkswagen’s latest seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, with automatic stop-start and brake energy recuperation.

Volkswagen has engineered its new hybrid system to allow electric-only propulsion, albeit for short distances only owing to the small capacity of the battery. In electric mode the petrol engine not only shuts off but is also disengaged by the clutch to reduce mechanical drag in a so-called ‘coast down’ mode.

VW isn’t revealing how much the system weighs, but it claims the NCC will hit 62mph in 8.1sec on the way to a top speed of 141mph. Combined fuel economy is put at 67.3mpg, and CO2 emissions are a relatively low 98g/km. These figures roughly match those of the new diesel Golf Bluemotion.

Despite this, VW says it is keen to offer the car as a diesel in the US. At present, 80 per cent of Jetta estate sales in the US are for diesel models, an unusally high amount, and the car is seen as a key part of encouraging diesel acceptance in the States.

Greg Kable

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Comments
16

11 January 2010

I think that's really handsome, like a mini-A5. I predict that would do very well in Europe if it was given the chance.


11 January 2010

It's not a bad looking car, in fact it's quite a tidy looking thing. But I just can't help noticing that the entire rear end is a merge of a Saab 9-3 and an Audi A4.

11 January 2010

'These figures are roughly equivalent to the Golf Blue-motion...' that being the case, why do WV and others bother with the weight and complexity of hybrids when they also produce well-develped combustion units? The new BMW power-plant in the 320d is a masterpece of intelligent use of existing technology, putting out as little pollution as a Citroen C1.

Surely, the argument for cleaner air can only be taken so far before it defeats itself. Go hydrogen and re-cycle the water by-product when you top-up fuel; or go all-electric for urban cars (long-distance travel is not viable at present), but hybrid? Why?

Lastly, another stupid question: what is the purpose of flat-bottomed steering wheels?

 

Yves Ferrer

11 January 2010

I have to echo the others comments: that is a nice looking car - prefer it to the Scirocco.

11 January 2010

[quote yvesthefrog]but hybrid? Why?[/quote] Because this car was launched at the Detroit motorshow, which is in America. And diesels don't go down so well with Americans. Performance and economy figures look interesting next to a Prius - I'd be interested to see a proper comparison.

11 January 2010

"19-inch alloy wheels, shod with 235/35 tyres."

Just what a hybrid eco car doesnt need. It being a "show car" is not an excuse.

Why don't they just bolt on a pair of afterburner jet engines from some F15 fighter/bombers, it's ok its a "show car" the production version will not have them...

11 January 2010

clean cut, reduced, with only a few lines sensibly placed. well done. see, ford? that's how it goes!

11 January 2010

ok, I can live with that logic for the North American market; doen't it show how much they still have to learn about husbanding resources? Let's hope that in Europe, VW will make that car available with 'real' engines! And it looks good...

btw, flat-bottmed steering wheels? any ideas?

 

Yves Ferrer

11 January 2010

[quote yvesthefrog]btw, flat-bottmed steering wheels? any ideas?[/quote]

It was invented by Austin for the Allegro. They went one further & gave it a flat top & flat sides, too.

=D

currently a happy owner of a Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin :)

11 January 2010

Now that is a nice looking car. It's looks like an Audi A5 but with the repulsive Audi vulgarity removed.

Put a proper engine in it and I'd gladly buy one of those.

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