The Volkswagen Touareg hybrid is now just a few months away from production, and the crew in Wolfsburg is also staying busy cranking out small concept vehicles with hybrid powertrains. The latest, debuting this morning here at the Detroit Auto Show, is the New Compact Coupe (NCC), a handsome hybrid coupe that looks remarkably production-ready. Designed to slot globally between the not-for-North-America Scirocco and the rakish CC, we can see a serial version of the NCC competing well here in the States with coupes like the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.
In showcar guise, the NCC features VW's 1.4-liter TSI inline-four with 148 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid system uses the same basic architecture (if not dimensions) as the recent L1 and Up-Lite concepts from Frankfurt and Los Angeles. In this case, a 20-kilowatt electric motor is sandwiched between the engine and the seven-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) dual clutch gearbox. A 1.1 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery in the back of the car provides electrical energy storage for electric drive, electric boost and regenerative braking. The system also allows for the complete decoupling of the transmission for enhanced coasting even at highway speeds, although it isn't immediately clear from the press release if the electric motor will push the NCC along for extended periods as it does with VWAG's Porsche Cayenne Hybrid system. Either way, VW is estimating the mileage of the NCC at 45 miles per gallon based on EPA test procedures with the EU numbers coming in at 56 mpg (U.S.) and 98 g/km of CO2. Acceleration to 60 miles per hour is ballparked at 8.1 seconds and top speed is pegged at 141 mph.
The car itself is almost the same size as the current Jetta except for wheelbase length and overall height (the concept has three more inches between the axles and the roof is two inches lower), and it may well be a preview of what to expect from the next-generation model. Recently, there have been rumors circulating that VW plans to revive the Jetta coupe, a model that hasn't been in its lineup since the late 1980s. A production version of this poor-man's Audi A5 could well be that car, although VW officials aren't talking. Similarly, the forthcoming Tennessee-built New Medium Sedan is expected with both diesel and hybrid powertrains and the same could be the case for the next Jetta. While you wait, you can check out our high-res gallery below and VW's official press verbiage available after the jump.