Well now, it seems the Volkswagen is doing its best to win hearts and minds the world over. Fresh of off news about the new Golf SportWagen , spy shots of a Golf R wagon and the announcement of the uber-awesome Golf R400 , Automotive News is reporting that the swanky New Midsize Coupe concept from the Beijing show will make it to production as a competitor the Mercedes-Benz CLA .
If you missed the news, the NMC concept is a swoopy, four-door, coupe-style car that is based on the Jetta. Think of how the CC is just a pretty Passat , and you get the basic idea.
The overall design is very reminiscent of the CC with its sloping rear profile and frameless doors. Currently the Jetta is a serviceable machine in the style department, but it is far from the prettiest thing on the road. I can see Volkswagen grabbing some conquest buyers with a more stylish vehicle. The real question is how much cannibalization of the Jetta will occur.
We have no confirmed details on this machine, but expect Jetta engine and transmission options to be carried over exactly, with a slightly higher price premium for the nicer sheet metal.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen NMC.
Why It Matters
Volkswagen is looking to rid itself of its niche appeal, and broaden its range of buyers. Competing against the CLA-Class is a great way to shed this image, and the NMC certainly has all the looks needed to rival the CLA.The issue then becomes whether the price difference between the $29,900 CLA and the NMC is enough to overcome the difference between the feeling of driving a Benz and a VW?
The concept version of the NCM is powered by Volkswagen’s award-winning 2.0-liter turbocharged four- cylinder from the GTI. That means 217 horsepower and a top speed of over 150 mph. The concept car wears a shell that is shorter than the current Jetta, but wider than the Passat. Overall it should make for a machine with fairly tidy proportions and handling.
I wouldn’t expect the concept’s 20-inch rolling stock or 245-series performance tires to make the leap to production however. The interior of the show car will also likely be scrapped. The cross-stitched white leather seats and massive center screen would be replaced with more traditional units from elsewhere in the Jetta family.
Overall the NCM is a fantastic looking machine that may be a preview of a better and more design-oriented Volkswagen. That sounds good to me.