Volkswagen has lifted the covers off a striking new coupe concept at the Shanghai motor show this week.

Called C Coupe GTE, the large four-door model is essentially an advanced preview of an upmarket new model, destined for the Chinese market in 2016.

The car’s styling also hints at the brand’s future design direction, and elements of its styling are due to make it across to an all-new version of the brand’s flagship Phaeton limousine.

Following current industry trends, the C Coupe features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain under the bonnet. With an electric motor mated to a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, Volkswagen claims the large luxury car can travel up to 31 miles (at speeds of up to 81mph) using its lithium-ion batteries alone.

This contributes to impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 102mpg and 55g/km respectively. Despite this, performance is more than adequate for such a large car, with the C Coupe taking 8.6 seconds to get from 0-62mph. It’s claimed top speed is 144mph.

In a nod to its Chinese audience, who largely aspire to be driven rather than drive themselves, the C Coupe majors on pampering its rear-seat occupants. The two individual rear seats get their own touch screen infotainment systems, that are matched by similar items in the front, as well as a digital instrument display.

Unfortunately, due to slow saloon sales in Europe, a production version of the C Coupe GTE is unlikely to make it to UK showrooms.

However, if you fancy an understated, high-quality luxury saloon, you can search for a used VW Phaeton here.

Daljinder Nagra


April 21, 2015