You may have trouble keeping up with Volkswagen in the months to come. The German maker, now one of the world’s largest, has been steadily ramping up its product offerings, in recent years, and promises the biggest blitz yet for 2010.
What company officials are describing as “power year” begins at the 2010 North American International Auto Show with the launch of the New Compact Coupe.
Like the well-reviewed Volkswagen CC, the New Compact Coupe aims to create a stylish coupe-like exterior with “the interior roominess of a sedan,” says Walter da Silva, Volkswagen’s global design director.
A stretched greenhouse flows into NCC’s tapered rear to give it a very distinctive shape. Da Silva’s influence on VW runs a bit counter to what’s happening elsewhere in the industry. Though he also likes to talk about “sculpted” body designs, the Italian stylist disdains the latest trend towards complex lines and angles.
The show car on display at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show uses a full hybrid powertrain, nots Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen’s Board Member in Charge of Technology. That means a 150 horsepower inline-four-cylinder engine, mated to a 27 hp electric motor. Together, they can develop up to 177 horsepower and 110 Newton-meters of torque. Power is channeled through VW’s 7-speed DSG transmission.
The coupe uses a small, 1.1 kWh lithium-ion battery and can operate in electric-only mode, albeit for relatively short distances.
Hackenberg said the goal was to create a stylish coupe that could balance often-conflicting demands for performance and fuel economy. In terms of the first goal, the NCC will launch from 0 to 60 in just 8.1 seconds. But VW estimates it would get 45 mpg using the U.S. fuel economy test procedures.