VW Unveils First Vehicle Using Audi MLB Platform

VW C Coupe GTE

Volkswagen is looking to expand its international lineup with the unveiling of its C Coupe GTE luxury plug-in concept at the Shanghai Auto Show 2015. The big deal about this vehicle is that it’s the first VW to use the Audi MLB platform and while it’s aimed at the China market, VW is hinting it could also make it to the U.S. as well. It could potentially fit into the lineup between the Passat and the bigger, luxury-oriented Phaeton. While the Phaeton hasn’t sold well in the U.S., it has in other markets.

“The future of the new Volkswagen premium class models is starting in Shanghai because the C Coupé GTE very clearly shows the new ‘face’ of top Volkswagen sedans for the first time,” Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design said.  “This sport sedan unequivocally demonstrates our premium standards. The evolution of the Volkswagen design DNA shown here will accompany us worldwide, and on the way to the new Phaeton.”

The C Coupe GTE is definitely on the larger size, measuring 200 inches long and a stout 76 inches wide. Borrowing from the Audi MLB platform, its engine is oriented front-to-back rather than the usual VW side-to-side. The design not only allows for broader shoulder room on the interior, but also it will integrate handling that is more like the performance driven Audis.

As for performance numbers, the hybrid offers 241 horsepower with 369 pound-feet of torque from the combination of a four-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection TSI engine and an electric motor integrated in the transmission with a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery. The concept is an eight-speed automatic that shoots from 0 to 62 in 8.6 seconds with a top speed of 144 mph.

The C Coupe falls in the class with the Lincoln Continental concept and the Cadillac CT6, both of which are aimed at the growing luxury Chinese market. The C Coupe is essentially designed to be driven by a chauffeur, which is why VW goes all out on the impressive backseat.

The lavish rear seats of the C Coupe give off a “lounge-like ambience” with wood and leather material and 9.5 inch touchscreens in the back of the front seats and includes high tech media controls that allow for personalized seat adjustments and climate control, and also other cool integrations of technology like tablet and smartphone connection. That’s not all though, the back also includes the luxuries of electrically controlled blinds for privacy and a panoramic sunroof that can be adjusted to let in as much, or as little, light as desired. And if passengers get thirsty? No problem.There’s a cooler in the middle console.

VW is clearly popping the champagne bottle on this one, in the effort to be more competitive in the luxury car market.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen


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