Detroit 2010: Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept Hybrid
By John Beltz Snyder
January 11, 2010
Volkswagen unveiled its newest concept hybrid vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show this morning. Cleverly, it’s called the New Compact Coupe.
It is powered by a 150-horsepower TSI engine, as well as a 27-horsepower electric motor. If you do the math, that’s a peak output of 177 ponies, mated to a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. Volkswagen claims a fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon, and can run on electric power alone (power comes from a lithium-ion battery). Top speed is 141 miles per hour, with a jog to 60 in 8.1 seconds.
We’ll be sure to put up live photos from the show later on. You’ll like them, we hope. The Volkswagen New Compact Coupe concept is even shinier in person.
Press release follows.
Volkswagen's World Premiere of the New Compact Coupe Hybrid Concept Car at the 2010 NAIAS
Unites Exceptional Efficiency with Top Dynamics
Wolfsburg, Germany / Detroit, MI -- January 11 2010 -- For Volkswagen, this marks the beginning of an action-packed year, in which more new models will be introduced than ever before in the company’s history. First on the spectacular list of new products for the 2010 calendar year is a car based on entirely new concepts and technology, a coupe with a hybrid drive that is extremely fast and yet futuristic in its fuel economy. It has sports appeal and sharp styling yet is remarkably elegant - positioned between the Europe’s bestselling sports car, the Scirocco, and the internationally successful CC. Its name: the New Compact Coupe (NCC). Site of its world premiere: Detroit, Michigan at the North American International Auto Show (January 11 to 24). Combined fuel consumption: 4.2 l/100 km* (45 mpg**). CO2 emissions: 98 g/km. Perhaps even more incredible, considering its fuel economy, are its top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph) and the short 8.6 seconds it needs for the classic sprint to 100 km/h (0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds).
These are made technically feasible through a high-tech alliance of sorts: a TSI engine (gasoline powered with 110 kW / 150 PS) that is as fuel efficient as it is sporty, an electric motor (20 kW / 27 PS), and a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) - which, in the eyes of many car drivers, is the best automatic in the world today. Just over a month after the debut of the most fuel-efficient four-seater in the world – the Up! Lite in Los Angeles – this new concept car confirms once again that future Volkswagen hybrid vehicles will not only focus on fuel economy, but – similar to pure gasoline and diesel versions of Europe’s most successful automobile brand – will also aim to be sporty and fun to drive. In the first half of the year, Volkswagen will launch its first hybrid model on the market under the VW label – an SUV with full-time all-wheel drive. Meanwhile, the New Compact Coupe shows, both technically and visually, how Volkswagen envisions a front-wheel drive hybrid for the compact class.
Hybrid DRIVE – TSI and Electric MOTOR plus DSG
Downsizing at its best: The concept car is driven by an extremely innovative high-tech alliance that closely approximates potential production versions. Volkswagen is using a four-cylinder version of the TSI gasoline engine range here. Direct injection, turbocharging and an intercooler generate 110 kW / 150 PS of power from just 1.4 liters of engine displacement – downsizing at its best. TSI technology has impressively demonstrated its extreme durability in many car racing events; including on the legendary Nordschleife of the German Nürburgring – the most demanding race course in the world. Since the first TSI engine was introduced just over five years ago, 3.5 million units of these boosted and torque-strong four cylinder engines have already been installed in vehicles. The TSI of the NCC – which of course is also equipped with ESP - transfers a hefty 240 Newton-meter (177 ft-lb) of torque to the front wheels at low engine speeds.
Emissions-free by E-motor: And there is even more power: An electric motor is integrated between the TSI and the efficient 7-speed DSG transsmision; it can be used for pure electric emissions-free driving, or it can support the TSI with aggressive torque. The electric motor develops 20 kW / 27 PS of power. The power and torque of the two drive units supplement one another during what is known as boosting – when accelerating to pass, for example. Since the NCC can also be driven in a pure electric mode, the drive system is classified as a Full Hybrid. A lithium-ion battery (1.1 kWh) at the rear of the vehicle supplies the electric motor with energy. By the way, in electric mode the TSI is not only shut off; it is also disengaged by a clutch to avoid drag loss.
Frequently coasting: As soon as the driver releases the gas pedal, the TSI is disengaged from the transmission. This so-called “coast-down” is even possible at higher speeds, as in freeway driving. Since drag losses are eliminated here as well, the NCC is able to coast for a longer period of time, for a driving style that leads directly to reduced fuel consumption.
Recovering kinetic energy: In braking, the electric motor – now operating as a generator – recovers kinetic energy which is then stored in the lithium-ion battery. Of course, just like Volkswagen's new BlueMotion models, the New Compact Coupe also has a Stop-Start system on board to further reduce fuel consumption, especially in urban areas and in stop-and-go traffic.
ExteriOr Design and DimensionS
The unique interplay of efficiency and dynamics is reflected once again in the NCC's styling, starting with a “Tungsten Silver Metallic” exterior. Klaus Bischoff, Chief Designer for the Volkswagen Brand, comments: “Styling of a coupe is considered the ultimate in automotive design. Our team has achieved a symbiosis of efficient technologies and elegance in the New Compact Coupe that is unique in its expression. Just a few precisely placed lines and powerfully sculpted surfaces have created a timeless dynamic and purist elegance that is typical of Volkswagen.”
Front end – Showing a strong face: The front of the New Compact Coupe shows an extremely confident and focused expression. Moreover, the NCC's width is emphasized by the horizontal line styling with integrated Bi-Xenon headlights - including LED daytime running and turn signal lights. The technically complex headlights contribute to an unmistakable visual recognition of the concept car – both day and night.
Side view – A sharp profile: In the car’s side profile, styling properties characteristic of all new Volkswagens of the past year have been merged with elegant and yet sporty coupe features, resulting in a new interpretation of the design DNA. The best examples of this are the characteristic tornado line and the powerfully emphasized curves of the wheel arches. They intersect the main volume of the large, homogeneous surfaces, conveying a powerful dynamic. The image of the side windows rounds out this impression with a concise signature. Forging a stylistic bridge to current models are the 19-inch “Lugano” type alloy wheels.
Rear – A strong concluding statement: The cargo area of the New Compact Coupe is decidedly powerful in design. Clean surfaces and a muscular shoulder section dominate the image here too. Bright: the LED taillights. A spoiler lip that reduces air turbulence was styled into the top of the trunk lid; it further improves the car’s remarkable aerodynamics. At the bottom there is a stylized diffuser; the tailpipe of the exhaust system is embedded here for a positive aerodynamic effect.
Dimensions – Millimeters at work for styling: The New Compact Coupe is 4.54 meters (178.5 inches) long and 1.78 meters (70.1 inches) wide. Its low body height of 1.41 meter (55.6 inches) adds styling energy to the interplay of its dimensions; the ratio of broad width to low body height intensifies the Volkswagen’s dynamic image. Also large are the track widths (front 1.53 meter / 61.2 inches; rear 1.54 meter / 61.4 inches) and wheelbase (2.65 meters / 104.4 inches).
INTERIOR – ERGONOMICS AND DIMENSIONS
Showing its true colors: The NCC is a four-seater with exceptional long-distance touring comfort and generous occupant space, with sport seats upholstered in light-colored, “Berry White” leather. The lower cockpit area, portions of the center console, and the door trim panels also carry this lighter shade. By contrast, all other surfaces (except accents and controls), including the leather-trimmed steering wheel, are styled in a darker “Grigio Quartz” color.
Inside, the NCC offers an exceptional feeling of spaciousness for its class. Despite the sporty low body height, the car is able to offer ample head room front and rear, as well as leg room for rear passengers. The coupe’s 380 liter trunk can handle luggage for four passengers without a problem.
Climb in, buckle up, drive away: As soon as the NCC's doors are opened, another reason for the Volkswagen brand’s tremendous success is revealed: unparalleled perfection in details and intuitive operation. The instruments are all laid out in ideal positions. The new multifunction sport steering wheel is the key interface between human and machine. The right hand rests naturally on the 7-speed DSG's gearshift lever‚ which stands before the full control panel for driver and passenger. Newly-designed controls for the automatic climate control system (Climatronic), an 8-inch touchscreen radio-navigation system - also a new design - and, finally, the hazard flasher switch and center air vents all await. The center console is angled slightly toward the driver to perfectly align the cockpit to the driver’s needs. The round gauges with their chrome bezels and a multifunction display (trip computer and additional navigation display) placed between them, are also optimally positioned for easy viewing.
Metal trim accentuates the air vents, multifunction keys on the steering wheel, radio-navigation system, climate control, and the gearshift, while white accents are found in the door trim, instruments, and the window / mirror switch panels in the doors.
Individual seats in the rear: Designers have shaped the rear seating area to match the style of large Gran Turismo cars. Passengers sit on two comfortable sport seats here, with the center console continuing from the front to the rear passenger area. Here, the center console is equipped with additional storage space as well as climate controls and a fold-out center armrest. The overall finish and quality of the materials employed throughout the interior make viewers forget completely that the New Compact Coupe is still a concept car. And that, too, is a typical Volkswagen trait – no compromises.
TDI, TSI, DSG and Twincharger are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG
or other companies of the Volkswagen Group in Germany and other countries.
* = Fuel consumption and CO2 values per NEDC
** = Fuel economy values of US label