2010 Detroit Auto Show: Vw New Compact Coupe (NCC)

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 25, 2010

Vw revealed today its New Compact Coupe (NCC), a new car which will make its Detroit Auto Show debut later today. Ok, so what is this car exactly? According to the manufacturer it is a full hybrid car, powered by a four-cylinder version of the TSI gasoline enginecapable to deliver 100 kW/150 hp and also by an electric motor delivering 20 kW / 27 hp.

Mated to a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), the new car can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 8.6 seconds and achieves a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph). Volkswagen New Compact Coupe (NCC) delivers an impressive fuel consumption of just 4.2 liters/100 km or 45 mpg.

Regarding the design, the NCC Concept shows an extremely confident and focused expression, a new Tungsten Silver Metallic paint finish emphasized by the horizontal line styling with integrated Bi-Xenon headlights – including LED daytime running and turn signal lights.

The rear of the car was built using clean surfaces and muscular shoulder sections. The design completed the 19-inch alloy wheels while the interior is finished in Grigio Quartz and Berry White leather. The NCC is reportedly 4540mm long, 1780mm wide and 141mm high and promises to enter the production line within the next two years.

Exterior Design

Everyone loves a beautiful car, but people love efficiency and functionality in a vehicle as well. The Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept bears all of these qualities in an amazing ratio of 1:1. In designing the concept, Volkswagen’s engineers and designers balanced both functionality and efficiency. None is sacrificed for the other, making the Compact Coupe Concept one of the unique designs ever to be put forth into an auto show.

The concept features lines and sculpted surfaces strategically placed throughout the coupe’s exteriors to achieve elegance and dynamism that every coupe should emulate. Volkswagen’s approach has always been purist and technical. This is expressed fully in the “focused” facial expression exuded by the New Compact Coupe Concept’s front area. Bi-Xenon headlights are integrated horizontally into the nose of the vehicle.

With the headlights containing both the LED daytime running lights and turn signals, the placement simply let passersby get a feel for the coupe’s actual width. The design also makes the coupe visually distinctive in the road. A car’s profile is always appreciated when viewed from the side, and a look at the New Compact Coupe Concept from that angle will reveal a new design that is a re-interpretation of the usual Volkswagen design language.

The wheel arches are emphasized by distinctive curves. The lines of the coupe feature an equally distinctive tornado pattern. Even the side windows are designed in a unique manner that conveys Volkswagen’s focus for power and dynamics. Completing the design are 19-inch “Lugano” type alloy wheels, the only link the concept has to current production models. The design culminates in the cargo area, where a muscular shoulder section exudes the amount of space and cargo the Coupe Concept can accommodate.

The trunk even features a spoiler lip that is meant to enhance aerodynamics and, by extension, performance. The aerodynamic features of the rear portion of the New Compact Concept Coupe are completed by a stylized diffuser integrated into the exhaust system.

Of course, the rear LED taillights provide a visible and bright signature in night time driving. The dimensions of the New Compact Coupe Concept are impressive. A body height of 1.41 meters is combined with a length of 4.54 meters or 178.5 inches and a width of 1.78 meters, equivalent to 70.1 inches. Track widths are 1.53 meters (61.2 inches) at the front, and 1.54 meters (61.4 inches) at the front. Dimensions for the wheelbase are 2.65 meters or 104.4 inches.

Interior Design

Volkswagen’s NCC Concept has four seats and offers a rather large space for its occupants to get comfortable even on long journeys. The sports seats are covered in Berry White leather. This is the same color scheme that can be seen on the door trim panels, lower cockpit area and some elements of its center console.

However with the exception of the controls and accents, all of the other surfaces are in the Grigio Quartz color. This includes the leather-trimmed steering wheel. The interior of the VW NCC shows that it indeed has the best space for its segment. It offers sufficient headroom for both the front and rear portion and has even more leg room at the rear.

The amount of space available comes as a surprise since it has a low body height. Finally, with a 380-liter, it can fit in the luggage of up to four persons. Aside from the design and space, the interior of this particular concept car also shows why Volkswagen remains to be at the top.

The details are perfect and the operation seems natural. All of the instruments have been positioned well with the steering wheel serving as the strategic interface between car and driver. Once the driver is on the seat, the control panel can be seen on the front with the 7-speed DSG gearshift lever on the right.

The control panel features Climatronic, a climate control system, and the 80ich touchscreen that is used for the radio-navigation system. Finally on top of the panel are the central air vents and the car’s hazard flasher switch. Function-wise, the control panel on the center console has been angled in a way that it lines up with the cockpit to answer any needs the driver may have.

The round instruments with its chrome bezels are prominently laid out. Found in-between the round instruments is the multifunction display that has the additional navigation display and trip computer. Almost all of the components of the interior have been improved with metal surrounds.

These are the multifunction keys that are placed on the steering wheel, climate control, radio-navigation, and DSG gearshift unit. Also receiving the same upgrades are the air vents, white accents on the instruments and door trim plus the switch panels for the mirror adjustment and window lift that are on the doors.

Seating area at the back has been purposely designed to be similar to that of the large Gran Turismo cars. For the passengers who want to sit here, they are given the choice of two sport seats. In the middle of these two seats is the center console’s continuation which actually passes through the whole interior.

Once it reaches the back, it is equipped with not just climate control but a fold-out center armrest, and even additional storage space. The way the interior has been designed, with its high-quality materials and finish, many are likely to forget that this is still a concept car. Again this is not surprising since Volkswagen has long been known to be a brand that doesn’t compromise.

Press Release

Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept

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 VW Scirocco, and the internationally successful CC. Its name: the Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept. Site of its world premiere: Detroit, North American International Auto Show (January 11 to 24, 2010). 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 VW 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 automobile 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 Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept 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.

Exterior

The unique interplay of efficiency and dynamics is reflected 1:1 in the styling of the coupe that is painted in "Tungsten Silver Metallic". Klaus Bischoff, Chief Designer for the Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept 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 Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept 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 dynamic. 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 Volkswagen New Compact Coupe Concept 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 VW New Compact Coupe Concept 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 Comfort

The VW NCC Concept 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 Volkswagen New Compact Coupe is still a concept car. And that too is typical Volkswagen - no compromises.

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 Nordschleife 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 and six cylinder engines have already been installed in vehicles. The TSI of the VW NCC - which of course is also equipped with ESP - transfers a hefty 220 Newton-meter (177 ft-lb) of torque to the front wheels at low engine speeds.

Emissions-free by E-motor

An electric motor is integrated between the TSI and the efficient 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 VW 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 VW 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 VW New Compact Coupe Concept also has a Stop-Start system on board. This reduces fuel consumption, especially in urban areas and in stop-and-go traffic.

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