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11 January 2010

A coupe concept is always something we like to see from Volkswagen, but this one is particularly important as it is the first semi-official showing of the next generation Jetta VI. Volkswagen is calling this concept the “New Compact Coupe” and if you’ve been following VW news lately, you have probably heard the next generation Jetta referred to as New Compact Sedan or NCS for short. So Volkswagen isn’t doing much to hide the fact that this car is essentially a preview of the new Jetta VI.

As you can see in the photos below, this is one sleek looking Jetta. Gone is the tacky chrome front end, somewhat contrived styling of the Jetta V and in its place is an all-new design that has shades of Audi A4/A5 in the profile and rear and a nod to past Jettas with a return of squared off headlamps that differentiate the Jetta from the Golf. The coupe-like roof line you see on this concept isn’t just a showcar/coupe roof line. This is the actual sedan profile as well. Volkswagen essentially took the sedan, moved the b-pillar back, fabricated longer front doors and filled in the rear door profile with glass and sheetmetal. Based on what we have seen, numerous spy photos and more we have created a fairly accurate digital rendering of what the Jetta VI sedan will look like when it is introduced later this year:

jetta sedan 1

Whereas past Jetta models were essentially a Golf with a trunk, this new Jetta is now unique in its dimensions. Volkswagen has shifted away from traditional “platform” sharing and has moved into a new era of “component” sharing. This means that the new Jetta shares engines, transmissions, suspension components, HVAC systems, etc., etc. with everything from Polo to Passat, but the body itself can now be completely unique so long as those pieces can be bolted on. What that means in the end is that the new Jetta is some 3 inches longer (104.4 inches) in the wheelbase over the Golf VI. Overall length and width though are nearly the same as the current Jetta V. That means the wheels have been pushed out to the corners and the front and rear overhangs are now shorter. Overall the dimensions look really good and visually make this new Jetta look wider, squatter and a bit more aggressive.

As for the coupe concept, Volkswagen will only say that they are “exploring” the idea of a Jetta Coupe. We think they are fairly serious this time and this concept is an opportunity for Volkswagen to get feedback. The Jetta VI will continue to be built in Mexico and this new model will be exported to the European market as well. Volkswagen wants to ensure this new Jetta sells and is aggressively shuffling the features and options deck to create a base-model car that will start around $17,000 – far less than the current Jetta V. Official specs, features and options haven’t been released but we’ve heard rumors of a new 2.0l four-cylinder normally aspirated base engine, 2.0T and TDI options. There will be higher trim model cars similar to the current Jetta and the GLI will return in the Jetta VI, albeit with an even more aggressive look.

ncc coupe3

All of us here at VWvortex are impressed so far and are happy to see the new design direction Volkswagen is taking. Rumor has it the new mid-size sedan coming in 2012 looks even better. Meanwhile we’ll sit tight and wait for official pics from Volkswagen of the new Jetta VI some time in June and cross our fingers that nothing significant changes from this concept. The actual new Jetta VI should go on sale late 3rd quarter this year. Stay tuned!

The full Volkswagen AG press release follows below…

Wolfsburg / Detroit, January 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. Number 1 on the spectacular list of new products for calendar year 2010 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. Site of its world premiere: Detroit, North American International Auto Show (January 11 to 24). Combined fuel consumption: 4.2 l/100 km* (45 mpg**)! CO2 emissions: 98 g/km! 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 values were made technically feasible by a high-tech alliance: 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 auto¬mobile 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 that would be implemented when the time is right.

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 intercooler generate a power of 110 kW / 150 PS from just 1.4 liter of engine displacement – downsizing at its best. TSI technology has impressively demonstrated its extreme durability in many car racing events; including on the legendary Nord¬schleife 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 efficien¬t 7-speed automatic (DSG = Direct Shift Gearbox); it can be used for pure electric emissions-free driving, or it can support the TSI with aggressive torque. The electric motor develops a power of 20 kW / 27 PS. 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 losses.

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 too, the NCC coasts for a very long time. And this promotes an anticipatory style of driving 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 the new BlueMotion models from Volkswagen, the New Compact Coupe also has a Stop-Start system on board. This reduces 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 1:1 in the styling of the cou¬pe that is painted in “Tungsten Silver Metallic”. Klaus Bischoff, Chief Designer for the Volks¬wagen 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 Com¬pact Coupe shows an extremely confident and focused expression. Moreover, the car’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 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 dyna¬mic. 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 touring comfort and generous occupant space on sport seats that are upholstered in a light-colored (“Berry White”) leather. Also designed in this color are the lower cockpit area, parts of the center console and the door trim panels. By contrast, all other surfaces (except accents and controls), including the leather-trimmed steering wheel, are styled in the darker “Grigio Quartz” color.

In its interior, the Volkswagen offers the best feeling of spaciousness in its class. This means that despite the sporty low body height, the car offers ample head room (front and rear) as well as leg room in the rear. The coupe’s 380 liter trunk can handle luggage for four persons without any problem.

Climb in, buckle up, drive away: As soon as the doors of the concept car are opened, a reason for the Volkswagen brand’s tremendous success is revealed: unparalleled perfection in details and intuitive operation. The instruments are laid out ideally. The new multifunction sport steering wheel is the key interface between human and machine. The right hand rests naturally on the gearshift lever of the 7-speed DSG‚ and in front of it the control panel sports newly designed controls for the automatic climate control system (Climatronic), the 8-inch touchscreen for the radio-navigation system – also a new design – and at the top of the panel the hazard flasher switch and center air vents. The center console’s control panel is angled slightly toward the driver to perfectly align the cockpit to the driver’s needs. Also optimally laid out for viewing are the round instruments with their chrome bezels; the multifunction display (trip computer and additional navigation display) is placed between them.

Upgraded with metal surrounds are all air vents, multifunction keys on the steering wheel, radio-navigation system, climate control, DSG gearshift unit, white accents of the door trim and instruments and switch panels (window lift and mirror adjustment) in the doors.

Individual seats in the rear: Designers have shaped the rear seating area in the style of large Gran Turismo cars. Passengers sit on two comfortable sport seats here. Between them is the continuation of the center console that passes through the entire interior. In the rear, the center console is equipped with additional storage space as well as climate controls and a fold-out center armrest. The finish and quality of materials in the interior make viewers forget completely that the New Compact Coupe is still a concept car. And that too is typical Volkswagen – no compromises.



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