Providing the first insight on a potential series-build model, Volkswagen presented its New Compact Coupe (NCC) Concept in Detroit. Scaled between the European Scirocco and its CC sedan, this strikingly styled two-door puts a decided performance spin on its hybrid powertrain and in VW's words shows how the automaker would implement such a vehicle, "both visually and technically...when the time is right."

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Reflecting the latest VW styling influences, this slick two door impressively matches bold lines and sculpted surfaces to create a dynamic appearance that's finished in Tungsten Silver Metallic and set off with bi-xenon headlamps, LED running lamps and taillights, and 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 235/35 performance tires. The surprisingly spacious cabin, which features four individual seats and a full-length console, is rendered in Berry White and Grigio Quartz leather with metal accent trim. Its flat-bottom, multifunction steering wheel, a next-gen take on VW's Climatronic control layout and a new 8.0-inch full-color touch screen for the navigation/infotainment package all have a production-ready look -- should the need arise.

>VIDEO: Volkswagen New Compact Coupe from the 2010 Detroit Auto Show

Embodying a best-of-both-world's approach to its powertrain, the NCC is fitted with a 1.4-liter direct-injected turbocharged gasoline engine that makes 148 horsepower coupled with an electric motor/generator energized by a 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery that contributes another 27 ponies. That combo also accounts for 177 lb.-ft. of peak torque, all of which gets sent to the front wheels via VW's seven-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). According to VW, that package allows the NCC to sprint 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, and hit 141 mph while returning 45 mpg on the combined Euro cycle and emitting a scant 98 g/km of CO2. The NCC also is capable of running in pure-electric mode for shorter distances. During that time, a special clutch completely decouples the engine to eliminate any drag-related losses, a process that also occurs whenever the vehicle is in "coast-down" mode. Like most hybrids, the NCC employs regenerative braking and incorporates start-stop circuitry to help enhance its overall mpg.

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Although the NCC remains a technical one-off, it clearly embodies the kind of design and engineering that begs questions regarding whether and when a volume build-version actually might end up in VW showrooms. Given the automaker's track record with previous ready-to-rollout "concepts" like the Eos and CC, we're inclined to think the answers are "pretty likely" and "pretty soon" -- even if it does arrive wearing a slightly more creative name.

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