28 March 2005

Volkswagen’s focus on niche markets has led to this surprising new model – a four-door coupé along the lines of Mercedes-Benz’s controversial CLS. Although still at a very early stage of development, Wolfsburg insiders say this new car, described as a modern-day Corrado, already has the full support of chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder, who is keen to see Volkswagen project a more sporting image, as is clear by the recent re-creation of the Golf GTi as a proper driver’s car. Details remain sketchy, but Autocar understands Volkswagen’s secret new coupé has been designed to sit on the same basic platform as the Beduin – as well as the production version of the Concept C and the next Audi TT. Using a combination of components from the Golf and Passat, the coupé has been engineered with both front- and four-wheel drive compatibility. Power is set to come from a range of in-line four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines as well as VW’s new 280bhp 3.6-litre V6 petrol. A more powerful turbocharged version of the V6 with up to 350bhp is also envisaged. Unique exterior styling will be used to give the coupé added appeal, while conventionally-hinged doors (as opposed to the current trend for rear-hinged rear doors) are used all round to ensure development and engineering costs are kept in check. The four-door layout promises highly competitive levels of versatility, and with seating for four adults interior space should be at least as generous as in two-door coupé rivals.

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