Model Expansion: Volkswagen C Coupe GTE bows in Shanghai

Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept

Volkswagen has a variety of models which are intended to sell only on the market in China:

like the Santana compact sedan and more recent Lamando four-door coupe.

So now, the German car maker is previewing one more model planned exclusively in the Chinese market with the Volkswagen C Coupe GTE concept car

…revealed before its debut at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show.

The C Coupe GTE is a four-door large coupe, not unlike the slightly smaller CC sold here.

It is based on the MLB platform of the current Audi A6 and extends to 199.7 inches in length, positioning it somewhere between the Passat mainstay and the Phaeton flagship.

But why is VW calling its concept a “coupe” when certainly it’s a sedan?


VW Group chief designer Walter de Silva gives an insight into the automaker’s thinking.

“Sedans have changed hugely in recent years,” he explains. “The new rear-end design that is oriented to the classic two-door coupe has given them more personality—the Volkswagen designers have integrated this stylistic element into the very dynamic design of the C Coupe GTE saloon.”

Defining design traits feature the strikingly long hood and short overhang…

…causing in a powerful and elegant look.

It has sharp horizontal lines, precise edges which are the dominant elements that structure the vehicle, and this flows into the cabin.

But there is much greater significance to the design than just being a preview of a new Chinese-market sedan.

VW says the C Coupe GTE also previews the design of the brand’s upcoming upmarket models like next-generation CC and even the next Phaeton due by the end of the decade.

“The future of the new Volkswagen premium class models is starting in Shanghai because the C Coupe GTE very clearly shows the new face of top Volkswagen sedans for the first time,” VW brand design chief Klaus Bischoff explains. “The evolution of the Volkswagen design DNA shown here will accompany us worldwide, and on the way to the new Phaeton.”

Just like the exterior, the interior also suggests the upmarket look we can expect in the new versions of the CC and Phaeton.


The interior architecture and the dash panel have been designed with a driver-centric focus…

…while the rear has a very lounge-like ambience with just a pair of executive seats found here.

There is also a chauffeur mode where information about the owner’s appointments can be copied by using a smartphone to the infotainment system, so an actual chauffeur will know specifically where and when his boss needs to be.

A plug-in hybrid powertrain is providing the power in the C Coupe GTE, for that reason it has the “GTE” component of its name.

GTE is short for “Grand Touring Electric“:

and is already used by VW for plug-in versions of its Golf and the Passat sold overseas.

This specific system in the C Coupe GTE mixes a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a single electric motor sandwiched between the engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Top output of this system is 241 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, and drive is to the front wheels only.

The 0-62 mph run takes about 8.6 seconds and strikes a top speed of 144 mph.

Because of a 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery, which can either be charged up at home or on the run using the engine or regenerative forces…

…the C Coupe GTE can drive up to 31 miles on electric power alone, but top speed in this mode is limited to 81 mph.

Having a full tank of gas and a full battery, VW says the concept should have the ability to travel more than 684 miles.

Also, the driver can flip between various modes such as electric only or hybrid using a switch on the dash.


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