Automotive

Volkswagen's 118 mpg, 155 mph Sport Coupé Concept GTE plug-in hybrid

Volkswagen's 118 mpg, 155 mph ...
The VW Sport Coupe Concept GTE, stylish, fast and economical (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The VW Sport Coupe Concept GTE, stylish, fast and economical (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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A VW rendering of the "3D appearance" dash of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE
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A VW rendering of the "3D appearance" dash of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE
The interior of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE, as rendered by VW
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The interior of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE, as rendered by VW
Plenty of room in the back
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Plenty of room in the back
Clean and stylish dash on the Sport Coupe Concept GTE
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Clean and stylish dash on the Sport Coupe Concept GTE
What the driver of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE will see
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What the driver of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE will see
The dash and center console of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE
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The dash and center console of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE
Very purposeful from the rear 3/4 in this VW rendering
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Very purposeful from the rear 3/4 in this VW rendering
From the front, this VW rendering shows a clear demonstration of the current design language
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From the front, this VW rendering shows a clear demonstration of the current design language
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From above, the Sport Coupe Concept GTE looks much more coupe than four-door
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From above, the Sport Coupe Concept GTE looks much more coupe than four-door
The Sport Coupe Concept GTE is nicely proportioned from the rear 3/4 view
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The Sport Coupe Concept GTE is nicely proportioned from the rear 3/4 view
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On the show stand in Geneva (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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On the show stand in Geneva (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The Sport Coupe Concept GTE integrates all four doors very smoothly (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Sport Coupe Concept GTE integrates all four doors very smoothly (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The Sport Coupe Concept GTE continues the trend of very large wheel and tire combinations (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Sport Coupe Concept GTE continues the trend of very large wheel and tire combinations (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The VW Sport Coupe Concept GTE, stylish, fast and economical (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The VW Sport Coupe Concept GTE, stylish, fast and economical (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
A handsome ride from almost every angle (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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A handsome ride from almost every angle (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The front end of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE integrates all of the current VW design cues (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The front end of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE integrates all of the current VW design cues (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
Very purposeful, very Germanic, very VW (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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Very purposeful, very Germanic, very VW (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The rear of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The rear of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The Sport Coupe Concept GTE shows good attention to detail on the tail as well (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Sport Coupe Concept GTE shows good attention to detail on the tail as well (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
Tasteful integration of the number plate recess (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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Tasteful integration of the number plate recess (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
(Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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(Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
(Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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(Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
Hard to tell that it's a hatchback (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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Hard to tell that it's a hatchback (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The Sport Coupe Concept GTE deftly integrates all four doors and the hatchback into a smooth coupe form (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Sport Coupe Concept GTE deftly integrates all four doors and the hatchback into a smooth coupe form (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The Sport Coupe Concept GTE doesn't over reach, so the design will probably age quite well (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The Sport Coupe Concept GTE doesn't over reach, so the design will probably age quite well (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
The driver's area of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE on the show stand (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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The driver's area of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE on the show stand (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
Up front it's all clean lines and buttoned down, but this is a show car, so changes might occur (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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Up front it's all clean lines and buttoned down, but this is a show car, so changes might occur (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
Nicely styled seats for the Sport Coupe Concept GTE (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
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Nicely styled seats for the Sport Coupe Concept GTE (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag.com)
View gallery - 32 images

Volkswagen just hit the automotive world with a hell of a one-two punch this week in Geneva. Long wanting to get into the sporty coupe game, VW has been on again, off again with various show cars. And plug in hybrids? Why hasn't one of the world's largest automakers cracked that territory in a big way yet? Volkswagen's answer: Why not do both?

Sitting in the middle of the Volkswagen show stand at this years Geneva Auto Show is a bright yellow-gold car that subconsciously cries out to its target demographic. You're young(ish) and successful, but still on the way up. You have style and flair and you're a person (although more often than not a man) that has little to no qualms about letting others know just how successful and upwardly mobile and stylish you are.

You, sir or madam, are the modern sport coupe buyer. You are the dead center bull's eye of the target in marketing offices from Munich to Detroit to Tokyo. M Coupes and Infiniti Coupes and Cadillac Coupes, those are for you. It's not that car companies are out to get you, it's that car companies already understand you.

But these days there's a new wrinkle. Suppose you're all of that, but there's now something else you are concerned about. You want to be environmentally friendly in addition to being more or less young, attractive, wealthy but getting richer and all the rest of it?

Say hello to the new automotive love of your life: The Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE.

It's got it all: Restrained yet classy Teutonic styling (both inside and out), logically thought through control layouts, comfy seats, enough power and performance to keep the "sport" in "Sport Coupe" and the cherry on top is that it's a plug-in hybrid too.

It's easy to see the VW Sport Coupe Concept GTE as a convergence of two recent Volkswagen design and engineering trends. One is Volkswagen's continued development of very fuel-efficient cars, such as the Volkswagen XL1. Although that car is packed with technological wonders, it falls a little short in the everyday practicality and versatility departments. The other trend has been sporty two-doors, or in a lot of cases, cars that look like sporty two-doors, but are actually very swoopy four-doors. In some examples, more than just sporty. A while back Volkswagen rolled out the W12 Coupe, which in many respects was sort of an R & D ancestor to the Bugatti Veyron.

So, in a rather logical, if read the tealeaves way, the Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE fits the bill both for the target market and the company itself.

VW says that the new Sport Coupe Concept GTE (even though it's flying the "it's only a concept" caveats) is "heralding a new and progressive Volkswagen design language." Which is marketing speak for, "You better like what you're seeing here in terms of headlights and body creases, because you're going to be seeing a lot of them on anything wearing a VW badge."

"This concept is based on Volkswagen design DNA, which has been visibly sharpened even more," says Walter de Silva, Head of Design of Volkswagen AG. "It shows how the highest-volume brand of our Group is shaping the immediate future."

"This breathtakingly dynamic coupe is unlike any other to appear in this class," adds Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Development. "The design of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE is an impressive alternative to the classic sedans of the B and C segments. It has the style of a sport coupe that is enriched by the functionality of a large hatchback and the interior space of a sedan."

On the inside, the interior of VW's Sport Coupe Concept GTE aims to be as innovative as its exterior. It features an extremely clean, very Germanic design, and Volkswagen is very proud of the car's ergonomics. There are new interactive interfaces between the driver and the car that include the use of the driver's biometric data and a new Active Info Display that has a 3D appearance.

Ah, but a pretty car will only get you so far. So what's the Sport Coupe Concept GTE got under the hood?

It all starts with those three letters: GTE. The GT is easy, as in for time immemorial, that means Grand Tour, and the "E" part stands for "Electric" and that's where things get really interesting, technology-wise.

The Sport Coupe Concept GTE is a new wrinkle in VW's GTE philosophy. The impressively motorized 374-horsepower (279 kW) GTE fastback brings the long-distance assets of a traditional Gran Turismo while simultaneously facilitating zero-emission driving, thanks to its two electric motors and externally chargeable battery. The GTE Coupe tops out at 155 mph (249 km/h) but can also boast of a remarkable EC average combined fuel consumption of 118 mpg (2 l/100 km). So VW is aiming the Sport Coupe Concept GTE at being able to dust off guys in Audi A5s and let you pass by a Toyota Prius when it comes to fill-ups.

This is all thanks to the Sport Coupe Concept GTE's drive system. The concept car uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter TSI V6 direct-injection engine that cranks out 295 hp (220 kW) and produces maximum torque of 369 lb ft. The electrical workings are comprised of a lithium-ion battery that lives in the center tunnel and two electric motors. The 54-hp (40 kW) front motor is incorporated in the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, while out back the rear electric motor develops 114 hp (85 kW). If you add that all up it comes out to a total available system power is 374 hp (279 kW).

In GTE mode, the coupe accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 5.0 seconds. Despite this level of performance, it can be driven all-electrically, with zero local emissions, for a distance of at least 32 miles. According to VW the total driving range on a single tank of gasoline is more than 745 miles.

So really, what's not to love? Oh, right, this officially just a concept car, just a demonstration of what a company could do. Hogwash! If Volkswagen doesn't make this thing it would be a monumental mistake. Government mandated mpg figures aren't going to be getting any lower and gas prices aren't going to be getting cheaper, for one thing, and for another people still want power and refinement and driving enjoyment.

The Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE hits all of those buttons, and hits them all quite well. Volkswagen should make this car, and it should start making it as soon as possible.

Source: Volkswagen

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6 comments
Jay Finke
Good to see they can still produce a butt ugly car. another one, in a long line. bet this one cheap to service also..
Bill Bennett
Coupes have two doors, not four, my black Audi URQ has two doors and is a coupe, she is in her carpeted heated garage.
Bob
So this gets 118 mpg but only has a range of 745 miles. So this only has a 6.3 gallon gas tank? How much better would it do if it was a diesel? Or is it a diesel? With tires having that low of a profile, you better not clip a curb.
Dave Andrews
Nice car, but it'd not a coupe. A coupe is a 2-door car. A sedan is 4-door. Hope it makes it into production actually looking like that.
Don Duncan
118mpg? How? After running all electric for 32 miles and then how many miles on gas? 32? 20? This is a hybrid gas vehicle.
What's the weight? Drag? Lots of hype, little info.
antennahawk
Somehow all those horsepower and kilowatts don't seem to add up...