Volkswagen is debuting the C Coupe GTE Concept vehicle at the Shanghai auto show this year, positioning it as a chiseled looker of a luxury-liner for the Chinese market, with tons of technology and comfort, and an efficient hybrid drivetrain. On the outside, you’ll find ambient lighting, and lines similar to those seen on the Sport Coupe Concept from Geneva. This car, however, is much larger, slotting between the Passat and Phaeton in terms of catalog hierarchy. Inside, you’ll find chauffeur-oriented equipment up front and lounge kit in back. It’s ideal for the busy businessperson, and surprisingly, somewhat realistic for a concept car.

VW says it’s a premonition of things to come from its most expensive models: “The future of the new Volkswagen premium class models is indeed starting in Shanghai because the C Coupe GTE very clearly shows the new ‘face’ of top Volkswagen saloons for the first time and an unparalleled superior design presence,” says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen brand. "The sports saloon unequivocally demonstrates our premium standards. The evolution of the Volkswagen design DNA shown here will accompany us worldwide – also on the way to the new Phaeton.”

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept.

  • 2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    8-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    241
  • Torque @ RPM:
    368
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    144 mph
  • Price:
    35000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept Exterior
- image 627526

Although it has four doors, the C Concept backs its claim to “coupey-ness” thanks to long, gently curving C-pillars that flow into the rear end with sporty stylishness. The paint hue is called “Golden Atmosphere” and was specifically chosen for the Chinese market, which presumably associates gold with the attributes of wisdom, tolerance, patience and power.

The hood line is extended, an aspect VW says enhances the car’s “prestige clearance,” which describes the distance between the front door shut line and the central point of the front axle. More distance means a longer hood without significant front overhang. VW also says the C Coupe Concept is the first car based on a new modular longitudinal matrix, which enabled the designers to refine the prestige clearance concept.

Based on VAG’s MLB underpinnings, the C Coupe Concept is a vast, behemoth of a vehicle.

Based on VAG’s MLB underpinnings, the C Coupe Concept is a behemoth of a vehicle. It’s 199.64 inches long, 75.98 inches wide, and 56.88 inches tall, with a 118.66-inch wheelbase. The overhangs, however, are relatively short for a car of this size, at only 36.38 inches up front and 44.61 inches in the back. Appropriately sized 22-inch rims sit at all four corners, wrapped in 265/30 rubber.

The design lines are trim and sharp, somewhat reminiscent of the 2014 Audi Prologue Coupe Concept unveiled in Los Angeles last year, or the Sport Coupe Concept revealed in Geneva this year. The grille is much smaller than the piece found on the four-ring product, but uses a similar chrome-bar scheme that looks a bit three-dimensional. The front fascia also uses thin dual LED headlights, although the VW’s are squarer next to the wedge-like headlights on the Audi. Two large air inlets framed by C-shaped LED daytime running lights can be found in the bottom half of the bumper. A single line of chrome runs a ring around the base of the car, front, sides, and back.

While integral to the overall design language, the lighting is also part of an exterior ambiance scheme new to VW. When the car is unlocked by either remote or keyless entry, the entire vehicle lights up, front to back. First, the VW emblem fixed to the front grille is illuminated, followed by the contour in the top radiator grille crossbar and headlight bezels. Then, a narrow band of light that runs along the car’s flank is illuminated, shining down on the retractable door handles. The light flows into the rear, terminating at the taillights and rear VW emblem. 

The profile features a prominent shoulder line that’s sharply cut and mirrored below, accentuating the length of the vehicle, particularly around the C-pillar. The wheel arches complement the long look with equally muscular width. The windows are framed in chrome, while the doors are frameless. 

Out back, you’ll find horizontal surfaces that underscore the car’s width. The taillights wrap into the rear flanks, connected by the ambient lighting feature when the car is unlocked. Chrome strips can be found at multiple levels, including the lower bumper, which integrates dual geometric exhaust pipes.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 5,071 MM (199.64 Inches)
Width 1,930 MM (75.98 Inches)
Height 1,445 MM (56.88 Inches)
Wheelbase 3,014 MM (118.66 Inches)

Interior

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept Interior
- image 627539

VW claims the C Coupe Concept is both a sporty sedan and the kind of car you’d want be chauffeured around in, all wrapped up in one neat package. Like the exterior, the interior features wrap-around ambient lighting, which helps impress when relaxing as a passenger, complemented by 74.09 inches of interior length that is best utilized by those lounging in the rear. For the driver, the dash panel and interior architecture have been designed with a focus on technical performance.

VW has developed something it calls “chauffeur mode,” where important information (like a list of the passenger’s appointments) is transferred via smartphone to the car’s infotainment system. According to a press release, “This means that the chauffeur has a chronological list of appointments specially tailored to his tasks and is able to provide his boss with further information upon reaching the destination, for example the floor and room of the appointment. Parallel to this, the appointment list also serves to plan the navigation route for the day.” This information is filtered specifically to fit the needs of the driver. If the passenger needs further direction beyond where the car can drive, “Last Mile Navigation” is transferred to his or her smartphone.

VW has developed something it calls “chauffeur mode,” where important information (like a list of the passenger’s appointments) is transferred via smartphone to the car’s infotainment system.

The dash is colored in Blizzard Grey anthracite up top, and continues the exterior’s horizontal design scheme. Below the air vents is Damascus steel trim, which is made from a complicated additive process requiring a good deal of craftsmanship. The trim runs parallel with the ambient lighting system and is repeated in the instruments and door panels. The doors also have contoured wood trim. An analog-look clock is placed in the central instrument panel, but the face is interchangeable with other functions pertaining to infotainment content and vehicle status, such as interior air quality from the cabin air purification system. Other trim includes high-gloss black in the door panels and B-pillars, not to mention in the dash where it integrates the infotainment system and instrument cluster.

The infotainment includes a large, high-definition 12.3-inch touchscreen display acting as a central hub for system controls. The driver can use this to call up information pertinent to the task of delivering his or her passenger to the right place at the right time, including synched navigation info. This is also the interface for the climate control.

The instrument cluster also uses an HD 12.3-inch display, fully integrated into the dash thanks to a 3D-look ambient lighting effect. In “basic configuration,” this display shows two round instruments, with the “power meter” on the left and the speedometer on the right. However, a variety of information can be displayed on this system, including playlists, vehicle data and navigation. A 3D display of landmarks in navigation mode assists driver orientation. The graphics also change between driving modes, outlined in the “Drivetrain” section below.

You’ll find seating for four, with the left and ride side of the car separated by a large continuous center console running the length of the interior. This features space for the gear selector equipped with “shift-by-wire control logic,” which basically means you nudge it to go between reverse, neutral and drive. Park can be found on a separate button.

When a car comes with something called chauffeur mode, you can bet the rear seats have some good things going for them. Not only are they roomy, materials like wood and leather abound. VW says “The shape of the wood, the trim elements and the wrap-around ambient lighting visually connect the rear and the driver’s area with each other,” and by the look of it, I’d agree.

Technology in the back includes two personal 4.5-inch touchscreens in the central console, used to adjust seating position and climate control for either the right or left side. The passengers can also use a smartphone or tablet to control two additional 9.5-inch screens mounted in the backs of the front seats. A 600-watt Dynaudio sound system is also controlled via these systems. The stereo features aluminum trim around the speakers.

Integrated into the doors are controls used to operate the electric windows and side blinds, as well as adjustment of the “infinitely variable darkening” panoramic sliding roof, which goes between transparent and opaque thanks to an “electrochromic foil.” A roof console trimmed in high-gloss black houses two vanity mirrors and an illuminated surface. Finally, refreshments can be carried in a chilled champagne box.

Drivetrain

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 627524

Refreshingly, the C Coupe eschews the typical fusion reactor hyper drive usually found on concept cars, in favor of something much more down to Earth. You could even call it tame.

The car uses a plug-in hybrid drivetrain good for 242 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque, and 102 mpg. Emissions are rated at 55 g/km. Making these numbers is a 207-horsepower turbocharged direct injection TSI four-cylinder gas engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Electric assistance comes from a 122-horsepower electric motor integrated into the gearbox module, powered by a rear-mounted lithium-ion battery.

With all this efficiency, you’d expect the C Coupe Concept to not be very fast. And you’d be right – 0-to-60 mph takes 8.6 seconds and top speed is 144 mph.

The battery has energy content of 14.1 kWh, and can be charged externally from an outlet or while driving from regenerative braking. Up to 31 miles of emission-free driving are possible when the battery is fully charged. Total range with the four-banger activated is over 684 miles.

With all this efficiency, you’d expect the C Coupe Concept to not be very fast. And you’d be right – 0-to-60 mph takes 8.6 seconds and top speed is 144 mph. However, there are several driving modes to help the driver eke out all the power he can in certain situations.

Hybrid mode is the standard, using a combination of the TSI and electric motor. If the driver releases the throttle and the battery is sufficiently charged, all drive sources are shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain, effectively keeping the car coasting without using energy or gas or emitting carbon.

Pressing a button in the console activates E-Mode, which sees only the electric motor providing motive power while the TSI is decoupled and shut off. If the gas ICE is needed, due to insufficient battery charge or other parameters, the TSI is reconnected in fractions of a second. Max speed in this mode is 81 mph.
A button to the left of the gear lever activates GTE Mode, thus yielding top performance. The throttle response is sharpened, the gearbox changes gears quicker, and both the TSI and electric motor work in unison for max output.

Finally, there’s Battery Charge/Battery Hold mode, which does exactly what you’d think – either charging the battery or keeping it at it’s current power level. This is activated via a submenu in the infotainment system.

Drivetrain Specifications

Drive system Plug-in hybrid
Drivetrain concept Front-wheel drive
Petrol engine 2.0 TSI (turbocharged, direct-injection)

Output 207 HP
Torque 258 LB-FT
Electric motor 91 kW / 162 LB-FT
System power 241 HP
System torque 368 LB-FT
Gearbox 8-speed automatic
Battery type Lithium-ion
Battery energy capacity 14.1 kWh
Top Speed 232 KM/H (144 MPH)
Top Speed E-Mode 130 KM/H (80 MPh)
0-100 km/h 8.6 seconds
Fuel consumption (NEDC, combined) 2.3 l/100 km
CO2 emissions (NEDC, combined) 55 g/km
Range, electric 50 km (31 miles)
Range, total > 800 km (497 miles)

Prices

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept Exterior
- image 627537

This thing is just a concept, so there’s currently no price tag. However, if the C Coupe Concept made it to production with all the aforementioned luxury and technology, prices would probably be in the $75,000 to $80,000 ballpark. That’s a lot for a VW, but if you’re in the market for a car with something called chauffeur mode, then such figures are probably not an issue.

Competition

BMW ActiveHybrid 7

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
- image 315090

Note: vehicle pictured is 2010 model.
Featuring that classic Bimmer styling with all the efficiency of an electrically assisted drivetrain, the ActiveHybrid 7 gets nearly 40 mpg while sprinting to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. All that size on the outside translates into plenty of space on the inside, which is complemented by premium leather upholstery, flat-screens, and a high-end sound system. Anyone looking for a bit of extra sporting flair can opt for the M Sport Package. MSRP starts at around $85,000, but expect that figure to rise dramatically as options are added.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 627533

The C Coupe Concept is an interesting take on VW luxury and technology. It’s aimed squarely at the Chinese market, and is built to impress business moguls who need a moment of respite between high-pressure meetings
The exterior looks large and in charge, exhibiting the typical concept car flair with exaggerated proportions and huge wheels. Personally, I think it looks great, with well-sculpted, muscular lines and a simple aesthetic. Hopefully, VW doesn’t feel the need to change too much when looking to the C Coupe for future exterior inspiration.

The interior is equally impressive, with technology that makes sense in a very un-concept-like fashion. This is repeated in the drivetrain, and although I find it hard to see the sporty attitude, I do applaud VW for giving us a drivetrain that might actually see the light of day in production form.

The question, though, is if anyone would buy a $75,000 VW. Part of the problem is in brand recognition. However, in China, such prejudices may simply not exist, which means the C Coupe Concept might have traction in the future.

  • Leave it
    • * Very, very slow
    • * Would be quite expensive in production form

Press Release

Volkswagen is expanding its model range at high speed. New cars with the VW emblem on the radiator grille are making their débuts in each and every market around the world – cars that will go on sale immediately and cars that will enhance the range in the near future. Volkswagen is currently presenting examples of tomorrow’s vehicles – initially as concept vehicles – at important trade fairs around the globe. In January the company presented a mid-size SUV in Detroit that is specially designed for the US market: the Cross Coupé GTE – a large Sport Utility Vehicle in the five-metre class. In March the Sport Coupé Concept GTE debuted in Geneva – a four-door sports car for markets on all continents, positioned between the B- and C-segment. Now the large C Coupé GTE is following – as a world premiere in Shanghai. The sports saloon with a length of around five metres sprints right into the middle of the C-segment. If it were to go into production it would find its place between the Passat and the Phaeton. Explaining the design concept of the concept car, Walter de Silva, Head of Design of the Volkswagen Group, says: "Saloons have changed hugely in recent years. The new design of the rear that is oriented to the classic two-door "coupé" has given them more personality. The Volkswagen designers have integrated this stylistic element into the very dynamic design of the C Coupé GTE saloon; they have developed a striking front end and given the vehicle its own authentic character. They have created a model that appeals to Chinese customers, who always follow the trends of European car design with great interest."

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept Exterior
- image 627523

The future of the new Volkswagen premium class. Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen brand adds: "The future of the new Volkswagen premium class models is indeed starting in Shanghai because the C Coupé GTE very clearly shows the new "face" of top Volkswagen saloons for the first time and an unparalleled superior design presence." And he continues: "The sports saloon unequivocally demonstrates our premium standards. The evolution of the Volkswagen design DNA shown here will accompany us worldwide – also on the way to the new Phaeton. A further ground-breaking aspect is the fact that the progressive design reflects the technical innovations to be integrated in future models."

The plug-in hybrid system

System power 245 PS, fuel consumption 2.3 litres per 100 km. The C Coupé GTE presented at Auto Shanghai (20 to 29 April 2015) has one of the world’s most modern plug-in hybrid systems on board. It consists of a turbocharged direct injection petrol engine (TSI) with four cylinders, an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the electric motor integrated in the gearbox module and a lithium-ion battery. The TSI has a power output of 155 kW / 210 PS and the electric motor 91 kW / 124 PS. The battery integrated at the rear has energy content of 14.1 kWh. The hybrid drive develops 180 kW / 245 PS of system power and impressive system torque of 500 Nm. Thanks to the battery that can be charged both externally and whilst driving, the concept car can travel up to 50 kilometres powered purely by electricity i.e. without any local emissions. (Maximum speed in "E-Mode": 130 km/h). It has combined fuel consumption (NEDC for plug-in hybrid vehicles) of 2.3 l/100 km; this corresponds to CO2 emissions of just 55 g/km. The vehicle has a total range of more than 1,100 kilometres. Despite being so efficient, the C Coupé GTE is an agile premium class model: the Volkswagen accelerates to 100 km/h in just 8.6 seconds and has a top speed of 232 km/h. The driver can choose between the operating modes "Hybrid", "E-Mode", "GTE" and "Battery Charge/Battery Hold".

Hybrid. The concept car starts by default in Hybrid mode. The C Coupé GTE is a full hybrid, which charges its battery via regenerative braking and automatically utilises the right combination of TSI and/or electric motor according to the specific driving situation. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, and the battery is sufficiently charged, all drive sources are shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain. This is a special form of "coasting". Zero emissions are produced in this mode. If the driver decelerates the vehicle and the battery is insufficiently charged, the electric motor operates as a generator and feeds the energy recovered from braking into the lithium-ion battery. In this case, the TSI is also shut off and decoupled.

E-Mode. In E-Mode, which the driver activates by pressing a button, only the electric motor provides propulsive power. During electric driving, the TSI is decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging the clutch, and it is shut off. As soon as the petrol engine needs to be used again – due to the battery’s charge state or other parameters – it is smoothly coupled to the drivetrain again within fractions of a second. The lithium-ion battery supplies the electric motor with energy. The power electronics integrated in the engine compartment manage the flow of high-voltage electricity to and from the battery and the electric motor. The vehicle’s 12-Volt electrical system is supplied with electricity via a DC/DC converter.

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 627524

GTE. The GTE button – positioned to the left of the gear lever like the E-Mode button – activates GTE mode, i.e. the particularly dynamic side of the concept car. The accelerator pedal, gearbox and steering characteristics are now even sportier. Furthermore, in GTE mode, the TSI and electric motor work together in ’boosting’ which calls up the full system power and maximum system torque.

Battery Charge/Battery Hold. The dual mode Battery Hold (battery’s energy content is kept constant) or "Battery Charge" (battery is charged while driving) is activated from a submenu of the infotainment system. This enables zero-emission driving in E‑Mode at the press of a button, for example in a city destination.

Dimensions and proportions

Paying homage to the Chinese market. The concept car has the additional designation "Coupé" on account of its very long flowing C-pillars and boot section that taper towards the rear. This stylistic feature distinguishes the car from almost all other saloons in its class. The C Coupé GTE is painted in "Golden Atmosphere" – a colour that was chosen for a reason. The background: not only does the concept car pave the way to the future of premium class Volkswagen models – it also pays homage to the Chinese market. And in China aspects such as wisdom and tolerance, patience and power are associated with the colour gold. The environmentally friendly drive system, the active and passive safety, the superior comfort and the look of the design are in tune with these parameters.

Extremely sporty proportions. Like all new Volkswagens, this concept car is also characterised by extremely sporty proportions. Defining design traits include the striking long bonnet and – associated with this – the charismatic "prestige clearance". This technical design term describes the distance between the front door shut line and the central point of the front axle. The greater this distance is, the longer the bonnet can be made without increasing the front overhang at the same time. This means that a long bonnet in combination with a short front overhang results in a particularly powerful and elegant premium-class design. As the C Coupé GTE presented in Shanghai is the first Volkswagen to be based on the new modular longitudinal matrix, the designers were able to further perfect this concept. In conjunction with the passenger compartment that is both low and elongated, this results in an unparalleled powerful and yet elegantly flowing design for a new kind of sports saloon.

More than five metres in length. In fact, the C Coupé GTE is 5,071 mm long, an impressive 1,930 mm wide and 1,445 mm high. Between the front overhang that is rather short for a car of this size (924 mm) and the rear overhang (1,133 mm) the concept car sports a long wheelbase (3,014 mm). The wheel hubs of the completely redesigned 22-inch rims fitted with 265/30 tyres are situated at the intersecting points of the wheelbase and the overhangs. The large track widths of 1,634 mm (front) and 1,624 mm (rear) are in line with this powerful look. As a matter of fact, the car’s proportions with the striking ratio between length, width and height give the C Coupé GTE an eye-catching sporty and exclusive appearance in combination with the large wheels.

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 627525

Exterior design

The striking proportions form a stylish whole with the charismatic design of the concept car. Horizontal lines and sharp, precise edges are the dominant elements structuring the vehicle. A defining and distinctive feature at the front of the car is the radiator grille with five chrome bars. The top and middle bars partly frame the LED dual headlights integrated in the three-dimensional look of the grille and extend to the wings. A second large air inlet is integrated in the lower section of the bumper and framed on each side by the C-shaped LED daytime running lights – a typical distinguishing feature of every Volkswagen with electric or plug-in hybrid drive. Below it is a chrome strip running across the whole width of the car; this chrome element is taken up again in the side view and the rear.

Exterior ambient lighting. Not only has the Volkswagen Design team given the usual headlights and other lights a particularly charismatic look on the C Coupé GTE but also realised exterior ambient lighting for the first time. When the car is unlocked – either by remote control or keyless entry – an elegant and dynamic lighting display is activated.

To start with, the outline of the VW emblem which is integrated in the radiator grille at the front is illuminated
Next, the contour of the top radiator grille crossbar and the bezels of the LED dual headlights are illuminated
An elegant narrow light element that extends along the side below the A-pillar from the wing to the door follows on
Continuing this line, the narrow, retractable door handles are then bathed in the ambient light, making them truly visible for the first time
Finally, the ambient lighting that wraps all the way around the vehicle flows to the rear section where it illuminates a narrow strip in each of the LED rear lights and – like at the front end – the graphic of the VW emblem

Side design. From the side, the character line formed by two lines catches the eye – a striking line as if cut by a knife on two levels that starts in the front wing and extends all the way to the boot lid. A pronounced powerful double shoulder develops from this double character line, also on two levels. In the top area it extends elegantly across the whole vehicle; in the lower area it clearly has more of a wedge shape, emphasising the sportiness of the concept car. The glass roof section including side window line connects above the double shoulder. The windows are framed by a chrome frame whilst the doors themselves are frameless. The coupé-like design of the C-pillar is a striking feature: the chrome frame around the side windows ends with a counter curve in this roof pillar, which itself merges seamlessly into the short boot lid. Below the two character lines, in the powerful side of the vehicle that is characterised by alternating convex and concave surfaces, the large, striking and softly-shaped wheel arches catch the eye. They extend a long way up into the vehicle body and give the concept car a very muscular look from all perspectives.

Rear end design. At the rear it is once again a horizontal surface structure that dominates the design and emphasises the width of the vehicle. The character lines that go all the way round to the boot lid frame the LED rear lights at the top. In the middle the lights feature a light-coloured band that also contains the ambient lighting. Like at the front and the sides, the rear section is also rounded off at the bottom by a chrome strip. This chrome strip is relatively flat at the front and the sides (up to the B-pillar). From the rear doors it gains in volume as it ascends, and at the rear it then expressively integrates the dual tailpipes of the exhaust system. This chrome trim strip, designed as an independent design element, seamlessly connects the side sections and the rear section with one another.

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept Exterior
- image 627526

Interior

Sports saloon and chauffeur car in one. The interior, which features wrap-around ambient lighting, has an extremely elegant look. The C Coupé GTE has been designed as a sporty four-seater car to appeal to keen owner-drivers on the one hand whilst also being an ideal chauffeur car. In the driver area, the dash panel and the interior architecture have therefore been designed with a focus on the technical concept and on dynamic performance aspects. By contrast, the design team gave the rear a lounge character. The C Coupé GTE boasts an interior length of 1,882 mm – resulting in lots of space for the rear passengers.

Chauffeur mode. The infotainment concept also follows this idea. Here, Volkswagen has developed a chauffeur mode where information relevant for the driver about the manager’s appointments can be transferred via a smartphone to the infotainment system. This means that the chauffeur has a chronological list of appointments specially tailored to his tasks and is able to provide his boss with further information upon reaching the destination, for example the floor and room of the appointment. Parallel to this, the appointment list also serves to plan the navigation route for the day. However, the chauffeur does not have all the information in the appointment schedule but rather specifically filtered information for the infotainment system to facilitate punctual arrival at the destination. Last but not least, the last part of the route to be covered on foot can be transmitted to the passenger’s smartphone as "Last Mile Navigation".

Dash panel. The architecture of the dash panel – that comes in an anthracite basic colour ("Blizzard Grey") – has a consistent horizontal structure. Below the air vents there is a Damascus steel trim – produced in a highly demanding craftsmanship process. To make a part in Damascus steel, several layers of steel are placed on top of one another and forged together again. Subsequent crosswise or lengthwise separation of the layers enables a specific pattern to be created, which is given a clear structure with grinding and polishing. Running parallel with the narrow line of the ambient lighting, this trim also frames the instruments and is taken up again in the door trim panels. The door panels are refined by wood trim following their shape which lends the highly technical interior a warm, natural atmosphere. A clock with an analogue appearance is integrated in the middle of the instruments. Further information synchronised with the infotainment content and also information on the vehicle status and the assistance systems can be displayed on this multifunctional smart clock. A further important function is the visual display of an interior air purification system (air quality index). A high-gloss black trim element underlines the technical character of the dash panel. The infotainment system and the digital instrument cluster (Active Info Display) are seamlessly integrated here. This trim element, too, are taken up again in the door panels where it extends all the way to the B-pillars.

Infotainment system. The 12.3-inch touchscreen of the central infotainment system is extremely large. The display with its high-definition resolution is not a solitary display element but rather a sculptural part of the interior architecture. In the "Today’s Schedule" menu the driver can call up the (filtered) information relevant for him about the appointments of his rear passenger that were synchronised with the navigation system. The touchscreen is a large black panel display that is also the interface for the climate control.

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept Exterior
- image 627527

Active Info Display. The instrument cluster is a newly designed Active Info Display in high-definition resolution with 3D visual effect. The display has a 12.3-inch screen diagonal and was designed in such a way that the edges of the virtual space blend into the real border of the instrument cluster – this is done by an ambient light with a three-dimensional effect. Thus, no bordered black panel display is visible; rather one sees a free-form surface, which structures the three-dimensional space without perceptible borders by means of lighting effects. This attains a previously unknown high level of sophistication. In its basic configuration, the digital instrument depicts two round instruments; on the left there is the power meter, on the right the speedometer. A wide variety of information can be displayed between these two instruments, for example a playlist, current vehicle data and the map of the navigation system. A realistic 3D display of striking or well-known buildings (landmarks) in navigation mode is particularly helpful for orientation. The new free-form surface makes the round instruments appear to hover in virtual space. The graphics of the displays change according to the driving mode (E-Mode or GTE mode).

Front centre console. The concept car features a continuous centre console. Between the front seats near the selector lever it ascends towards the infotainment system. The selector lever for the 8-speed automatic gearbox – arranged on two domes in the left area of the centre console – appears to float. The selector lever is equipped with a shift-by-wire control logic: like a joystick, the lever is always in a central middle position; a short push activates R, N and D. The driver selects the P position with a separate button that is integrated in the selector lever.

Rear. A look at the rear, fitted with two individual seats, immediately shows that the most important passenger sits in the back of the C Coupé GTE. In terms of form, the whole design of the rear is therefore in keeping with the concept of a chauffeur vehicle. Whilst, as described, the design of the driver area has a very technical focus, the rear of the interior is characterised by a very homely atmosphere. It therefore features a higher proportion of materials such as wood and leather, creating a kind of lounge atmosphere. The door panels with wooden elements following their shape – at the rear reaching to the B-pillars and much larger and higher than at the front – create a cocoon-like feeling. The shape of the wood, the trim elements and the wrap-around ambient lighting visually connect the rear and the driver’s area with each other.

2015 Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 627528

Touch panels. There are two personal touchscreens (4.5 inch) in the centre console between the rear seats which are used for individual seat position adjustment and climate control for the left and right area at the rear. The rear passengers use a mobile media control unit – such as a smartphone or a tablet – to control the two screens anchored in the backrests of the front seats (each 9.5 inch). These displays are part of a black panel display application that extends across the whole width of the backrest. Functions such as operating the 600-watt Dynaudio sound system are also controlled interactively via the media control unit. Classy: the Dynaudio loudspeakers in the doors featuring aluminium trims as design elements (at the front and rear) that extend across the whole panel and emphasise the length of the doors. Important for privacy in the rear: along with buttons for the electric windows, buttons are also integrated in the doors for operating the side blinds and for infinitely variable darkening of the panoramic sliding roof; the otherwise transparent roof is darkened with an electrochromic foil integrated in the "switchable" glass. A high-gloss black "comfort traverse" as a roof console houses two folding vanity mirrors and an illuminated surface. Refreshing drinks are easily accessible between the rear seats in a cooled champagne box.

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