Look out, Audi: Volkswagen is moving upscale with its Sport Coupe Concept GTE

Volkswagen has introduced the Sport Coupe Concept GTE ahead of its debut at tomorrow’s Geneva Motor Show.

The concept accurately previews Volkswagen’s next design language. Bigger all around than the current CC, the show car gets an elegant front end that is accented by a full-width radiator grille with chromed slats that extend into the headlights and a pair of muscular-looking C-shaped LED daytime running lights.

Pronounced character lines that connect the front wheel arches and the tail lamps help give the CC a low-slung look. Out back, the concept stands out from the current CC thanks to an Audi A7-like rakish D-pillar, a discreet spoiler integrated into the trunk lid and sharp tail lamps.

Inside, the Sport Coupe Concept GTE is fitted with a premium-looking cockpit whose design is inspired by the eighth-gen Passat that is sold in Europe. The concept propels Volkswagen into a new era of technology with a 10.1-inch screen that runs an advanced driver-focused navigation system, a pair of 12.3-inch screens that keep the rear passengers entertained and touch-sensitive HVAC controls. Finally, the instrument cluster has been replaced by an experimental version of the innovative Virtual Cockpit found in the aforementioned Passat and in a number of Audi models that has been upgraded with 3D graphics.

As its name implies, Volkswagen’s latest concept is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain made up of a 295-horsepower 3.0-liter TSI V6 engine that is both turbocharged and direct-injected and two electric motors rated at 54 and 114 ponies, respectively. Electricity is stored in a lithium-ion battery pack.

Together, the three power sources send a total of 374 horsepower to all four wheels, allowing the concept to reach 62 mph from a stop in five seconds and go on to a top speed of 155 mph. The electric motors can propel the sedan by themselves for over 32 miles, while leaving the sedan in hybrid mode nets 118 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

Volkswagen has not commented on what the future holds for the Sport Coupe Concept GTE. It could announce that the next-gen CC will move up a notch on the market, or it could simply serve as a preview for the design that will influence future Volkswagens and the technology that will be built into them.

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