What is it? The New Concept Coupe is a two-door coupe that is a little longer than the current VW Jetta sedan. It is powered by a hybrid drivetrain mated to a 155-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, which is a popular engine in Europe. The full-hybrid system is similar to that in the Touareg SUV, with a flat electric motor mounted between the engine flywheel and the transmission. Twin clutches on either side of the motor allow the engine, the electric motor, or both to power the car. It uses a 1.1 kwh lithium-ion battery good for a low-speed electric range of about 5 miles. The electric and gas engines feed power through a seven-speed Direct Shift Gearbox, VW's automated manual transmission.
What is new or notable? The drivetrain aggressively uses its ability to disconnect the engine from the drivetrain to let the vehicle coast any time the driver lets off the accelerator, even at highway speeds, reducing fuel consumption. VW claims the NCC will be able to accelerate from 0-60 in 8.1 seconds and achieve 45 mpg in combined city/highway driving.
CR's take: Volkwagen's aggressive coastdown strategy may be disconcerting for drivers used to engine braking. VW of America's president Stephan Jacoby says the styling of the NCC foreshadows a larger sedan that will be built at the companys new factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, next year.
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