China is the only reason for which VW still builds the Phaeton and the world’s largest car market is probably the main reason why there will be a second-generation model.
With this in mind, it was only natural that VW unveiled the C Coupe GTE pre-production study at the Shanghai Auto Show.
Described as a four-door concept car for the Chinese market that “illustrates a new design approach for future top saloons at Volkswagen,” the C Coupe GTE most likely previews the next-generation Phaeton, as it’s over five meters (196.8in) long.
The study features a plug-in hybrid drive system consisting of a turbocharged four-cylinder TSI petrol engine, an 8-speed automatic gearbox, an electric motor integrated in the gearbox module and a lithium-ion battery placed at the rear.
The TSI engine produces 210PS (207hp), while the electric motor has a power output of 91kW (124PS/122hp). The hybrid drive develops a system power of 245PS (242hp) and 500Nm (369lb-ft), allowing the C Coupé GTE to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.6 seconds and to reach a top speed of 232 km/h (144 mph).
These are not very striking figures for a luxury sedan, but what’s really impressive is the average fuel consumption of 2.3 l/100 km (102.2 mpg US) and the CO2 emissions of just 55 g/km. The C Coupé GTE is capable to travel in all-electric mode for 50 km (31 miles), at speeds of up to 130 km/h (81 mph), while total driving range exceeds 800 km (497 miles).