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VW C Coupé GTE Concept in Shanghai 2015: Seat rehearsal in the next luxury liner

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VW C Coupé GTE Concept in Shanghai 2015
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An LED strip lights up across the entire width of the vehicle in the massive radiator grille, followed by the model designation on the lower front apron - The appearance of the C Coupé with its powerful chrome grille and shiny chrome rims fits the style of Chinese taste. A statement when it rolls onto the stage on the eve of the trade fair in Shanghai.

Only planned for China

Perhaps a bit thick for Europeans, but it should be over five meters for us We don't like the long limousine either, because we won't be able to buy it. The car is planned purely for the Chinese market. It will debut in 2016, before the next generation of Phaeton. The design indicates how VW will see its luxury models in the future, but the Phaeton will again differ significantly in design.

Back to the C Coupé, which is operated differently than with the German premium brands without a separate control unit in the Center console gets by. VW will also use a central touchscreen for its higher-end vehicles in the future, but this is even larger than that of models like the Passat. In addition to the automatic selector lever, there are only a few buttons such as the switch for adjusting the adaptive dampers.

The seating position is pleasantly low and quite a bit sporty. The driver has an optimal view of the digital instrument cluster, which, with the help of an artfully worked glass pane, offers a visually broadening effect. The analog clock in the center of the cockpit has to give way to a round display in which a clock, but also other displays such as water temperature or oil pressure can be shown.

More status without design revolutions?

From the outside, the look is characterized by the precise, sharp edges that are customary at VW. One runs from the base of the headlights completely over the vehicle flank to the rear lights. Their design is reminiscent of the Jetta study from last year - but drawn much finer. VW tries to give its upper-class models more status without expecting customers to break too much with the previous design philosophy. That seems to suit the taste of the Chinese journalists - they take photos enthusiastically.

Despite the flat roof line, the C Coupé has plenty of space for them tooFund passengers. The car is not only suitable as a status object for self-drivers, but also for wealthy Chinese with their own chauffeur. For the latter, VW has developed a special 'chauffeur mode' that shows the driver important dates and locations in the infotainment system, plans the route and, if necessary, can call up further information.

No, the C Coupé GTE does not anticipate the design of the Phaeton, says VW chief designer Klaus Bischoff. 'The Phaeton will go a long way on everything.' We are curious to see if this VW flagship is withheld from us in Germany.

Similarities to the concept car shown in Geneva

This VW C Coupé GTE, stretched to more than five meters, The sedan should give an outlook on a luxury class model - a successor to the VW Phaeton. This was one of Ferdinand Piëch's many prestige projects.

From the outside, the VW C Coupé GTE is clearly recognizable as a Volkswagen. The face of the brand is adorned with pinched headlights, a grill with chrome clasps and straight, simple lines. However, the VW designers were not particularly brave.

Nonetheless, the GTE fits the country of its premiere perfectly. The golden color is supposed to symbolize wisdom and power - and the GTE is a sedan with a long wheelbase. Why is that important? In China the wheelbase is of course not a status symbol, but space in the rear is. The lush wheelbase of more than three meters (3,014mm) is on a par with the BMW 5 Series. The 5.07-meter VW C Coupé GTE is intended to appeal to both self-drivers and chauffeurs.

For the latter, VW has developed a special 'chauffeur mode' that shows the driver important dates and locations in the infotainment system , plans the route and can call up further information if necessary.

Plug-in hybrid drive and 245 HP in the Phaeton Successor

For those who prefer to take the wheel themselves, the Volkswagen should also be suitable - important for Europe and Germany. There are far fewer chauffeurs here than in the Far East, and driving yourself is still a trend - even if the topic of 'autonomous driving' is already being debated everywhere. That is not yet an issue with the GTE.

A plug-in hybrid system in the VW C Coupé GTE, i.e. a conventional combustion engine combined with an electric drive, is supposed to ensure environmentally conscious driving fun. 210 PS come from the two-liter TSI engine, the electric motor can contribute 91 kW (124 PS). A maximum of 245 HP system output is possible, the maximum torque is 500 Nm. The drive train is linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. The standard sprint should be possible in 8.6 seconds. A maximum of 232 km /h is possible when both systems are active - in pure E mode it is 130 km /h.

The driver can decide for himselfhow he's on the move. In the city, for example, the all-electric drive is suitable. Then 124 HP and a range of 50 kilometers (battery capacity: 14.1 kWh) are available. The 'Hybrid' mode is active as standard in the GTE, in which the NEDC standard consumption of 2.3 liters is achieved. In 'GTE' mode, the VW GTE should be particularly sporty.

Modern interior (almost) without real buttons

So that the driver feels comfortable in the interior, VW has given the GTE a refreshed look with all sorts of touch-enabled screens, panels and of course the LCD screen known from the Audi TT instead of an instrument cluster. The cockpit is extremely minimalist, classic rotary switches for heating or ventilation cannot be seen. The light switches are also operated using a touch function. Only the buttons next to the gear selector of the automatic look as if they could still be pressed.

In the rear, the VW C Coupé GTE is luxurious and offers passengers not only two televisions integrated in the front seat , but also a regulated climate zone. This eliminates the third seat in the middle; the control panel takes its place.


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