Currently reading: Volkswagen NMC concept previews new CLA rival
Stylish 'NMC' concept points the way to a Mercedes CLA-rivalling production model to sit below the current CC

The Volkswagen NMC – New Midsize Coupé – concept makes official the German manufacturer’s plans for a style-led saloon to challenge the likes of the strong-selling Mercedes-Benz CLA.

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 Mercedes-Benz 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.

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Moparman 21 April 2014

Interior question

This will most likely be sold in the US if they are building it in Mexico but will the US version have a down-market interior like the US-built Jetta or will they retain the better-built/better-looking/better-feeling interior from the Mk VII Golf?
3mocion 21 April 2014

Not impressed

It could appeal to people who'll hear or read VW and Coupe in the same sentence and immediately they'll be under the spell of VW's Marketing people. To the more critical person, they'll see a Jetta with a more sloping roof, a bit more chrome and Golf mirrors. Not impressed at all and i wouldn't waste my hard earned money on this. It's time for VW to invest more in its sister brands.
Dark Isle 21 April 2014


3mocion wrote:

It's time for VW to invest more in its sister brands.

I agree with this, too! It's criminal how underused and undervalued SEAT seems to be.

Dark Isle 20 April 2014


Perhaps they'll call it the BB? :-P Either way, I'm all for more stylish Volkswagens. Generally, they're all boring as hell, but I like the bigger CC. This smaller version could appeal, too.