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VW announces sporty hybrid concept

New Compact Coupé will rival Honda's CR-Z

VW New Compact Coupé (Detriot, front)

New Compact Coupé hybrid looks almost ready for production 

Volkswagen has unveiled a sporting hybrid concept called the New Compact Coupé – and if it’s as production ready as it looks it could put Honda’s new CR-Z to shame.

The Volkswagen New Compact Coupé is a smooth-looking ‘fastback’, sized between the Golf and the Passat. The styling has more than a hint of Audi about it from the rear, but is every bit the modern Volkswagen from the front. Complete with an interior almost straight out of the VWs on your local dealer forecourt, there are no unrealistic concept car design indulgences at all.

It looks like it could be rolling off the production line tomorrow – although Volkswagen states the New Compact Coupé ‘remains a concept at present with no immediate plans for production’.

Sub-100g/km CO2

At the very least we believe this car previews the styling for a future coupé model, that could easily slot into the Volkswagen line-up above the Scirocco and below the Passat CC.

VW New Compact Coupe (Detriot, rear)

VW looks very much like an Audi from the back

However, what makes this particular concept so exciting is the petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain under the bonnet, which gives the New Compact Coupé claimed CO2 emissions of 98g/km CO2 and combined fuel consumption of just 67.2mpg.

Compare that with the production-ready Honda CR-Z – another sporty hybrid coupé – which is smaller but can manage only 117g/km CO2 and 56.4mpg combined.

VW turbo petrol power

Of course, since the New Compact Coupé is just a concept, VW can claim whatever it likes. But in principle the engineering is sound, as the German carmaker has combined a 148bhp version of its 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a 26bhp electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic transmission.

The electric motor can be used to reduce fuel consumption – the car operating on battery alone as a ‘Full Hybrid’ – or in tandem, giving it a performance boost particularly useful for overtaking. The 0-62mph time is quoted as 8.6 seconds, with a top speed of 141mph.

Rolling on 19-inch alloy wheels, it has an aerodynamically efficient grille element (reminiscent of the Polo BlueMotion), and the interior is finished in ‘Berry White’ leather. It also has a practical 380-litre boot.

The Volkswagen New Compact Coupé received its public debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and we expect to see it again at the Geneva motor show in March. We’ll bring you a video first look then.


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