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Volkswagen has unveiled a big four-door coupe at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show. Dubbed the Volkswagen C Coupe GTE Concept, the luxurious five-metre long showcar previews a future model that will sit between the Passat/CC and the brand’s flagship Phaeton limo. It comes after Geneva 2015’s Sport Coupe Concept GTE, which is smaller in size.

VW will be hoping that you like what you see here because this is brand’s future look for its high-end 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,” said Klaus Bischoff, VW’s head of design.

“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,” he added.

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The GTE badge means that the C Coupe is a plug-in hybrid. The drivetrain consists of a 210 PS TSI engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, a 124 PS (91 kW) electric motor integrated in the gearbox module and a 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack in the boot. The system combines for 245 PS and 500 Nm of torque, good for 0-100 km/h in 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 232 km/h.

The driver can choose between four modes: Hybrid, E-Mode, GTE and Battery Charge/Battery Hold. In E-Mode, the C Coupe can travel 50 km on electric power alone, with a max speed of 130 km/h. Combined NEDC fuel consumption is 2.3 litres per 100 km, with a total range of more than 1,100 km.

The GTE mode is for when you’re feeling frisky. Press the button and the accelerator pedal, gearbox and steering characteristics become sharper. In this mode, both the engine and electric motor work together for full system power. 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.

VW C Coupe GTE Concept-10

The four-seat cabin (with full-length centre console) was designed to appeal to keen owner-drivers on the one hand whilst also being an ideal chauffeur car, VW says. For the latter, there’s a chauffeur mode where filtered info relevant for the driver about the boss’ appointments can be transferred via smartphone to the 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The appointment list also serves to plan the navigation route for the day.

VW sought to create a “lounge atmosphere” for the rear section, with a higher proportion of materials such as wood and leather. There are two personal 4.5-inch touchscreens in the centre console for individual seat position adjustment and climate control, in addition to a mobile media control unit for the two “black panel” 9.5-inch screens embedded in the backrests of the front seats.

The 600-watt Dynaudio sound system has loudspeakers in the doors featuring aluminium trim as design elements that extend across the whole door panel. The panoramic sliding roof has infinitely variable darkening with an electrochromic foil integrated in the “switchable” glass, and there’s also a cooled champagne box for the boss.