Concept-Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Preview

  • Hybrid concept hints at next-generation Jetta
  • 150-hp, turbocharged, 1.4-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine
  • 20-kilowatt electric boost motor (27 horsepower)
  • Lithium-ion battery cells
  • 7-speed dual-clutch "DSG" transmission
  • Combined fuel economy estimated at 45 mpg


Volkswagen New Compact Coupe ConceptThe Volkswagen Jetta arrived in the mid-1980s as a variant of the company's popular Golf (also offered as the "Rabbit") with a conventional trunk replacing the standard hatchback. Now a fifth-generation model, last redesigned for the 2005 model year, the Jetta has been offered in both 2-door coupe and 4-door sedan models over the past two decades.

With an all-new Jetta model just around the corner, Volkswagen gave consumers a good hint-or an early look-at its upcoming compact sedan's fresh European styling with the introduction of the New Compact Coupe (NCC) hybrid concept at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept


With a "Tungsten Silver Metallic" exterior, the NCC's sheetmetal exhibits Volkswagen's design direction for the future. It "shows an extremely confident and focused expression," says the automaker, pointing to the strong horizontal grille with bi-Xenon headlamps at each side. The profile features the characteristic tornado line, while emphasizing the prominent curves of the wheel arches. In the rear, bright LED taillights sit below a small rear spoiler while the exhaust outlets are hidden beneath the rear valance.

The interior of the 4-seat coupe is upholstered in light-colored "Berry White" leather contrasted by darker "Grigio Quartz" colored portions of the center console and steering wheel. A thick steering wheel sits directly in front of the driver with a two-dial gauge cluster set directly behind. The center console, canted slightly towards the driver, houses a multi-function display and the familiar DSG shifter between the front seats. Overall, the cockpit is rather traditional for a concept-hinting that this model is very close to production.

The NCC is a 4-passenger car, just like the current Volkswagen CC. The rear seats were developed with large Gran Turismo cars in mind, says the automaker. Each passenger has their own sport seat, with the center console flowing from the front of the cabin all the way to the rear. Rear passengers will enjoy their own climate control switches, extra storage space and a fold-out center armrest. The trunk, with a capacity of nearly 14 cubic feet, is designed to easily accommodate luggage for four passengers.

Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept


The NCC features a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with direct injection, turbocharger and an intercooler to generate 150 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, according to VW. A 20-kilowatt (27 horsepower) electric motor, drawing power from a lithium-ion battery pack, supplements the gasoline engine under heavy acceleration (the term is called "boosting") to provide a combined 177 horsepower. The standard transmission is Volkswagen's 7-speed dual-clutch "DSG" automatic. Under partial acceleration, the NCC is able to run off its electric motor in a completely emissions-free mode, the manufacturer claims. The highly-efficient gasoline motor will automatically kick-in at higher speeds. Under braking, the coupe recovers kinetic energy by utilizing the electric motor as a generator-sending power back to the lithium-ion batteries for storage. According to Volkswagen, the NCC is able to sprint to 60 mph in just 8.1 seconds towards a top speed of 141 mph. The automaker estimates the New Compact Coupe will earn 45 mpg in EPA testing.


An innovative method of powertrain packaging has the NCC's electric motor sandwiched between the gasoline engine and transmission. This not only saves space, but it allows the gasoline engine to be completely disengaged-through a hydraulic clutch-when the NCC is running purely in electric mode. The system quickly adapts to driving conditions, meaning the gasoline engine is disconnected during highway coasting or when sophisticated electronics deem it unnecessary. As an added bonus, the location of the electric motor allows it to double as the vehicle's starter-both saving weight and reducing complexity.