A new, sleek “sport coupe” dubbed the Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE was unveiled last week at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, and speculation grows about the car being built in Chattanooga.
A plug-in hybrid, the Sport Coupe has two electric motors and a 374-horsepower engine, with a top speed of 155 mph and an EC average combined fuel consumption of 118 mpg.
"This vehicle concept is very near to the series version, and it could be manufactured in the foreseeable future," VW brand development chief Hans-Jakob Neusser told Automotive News Europe.
The vehicle is designed to replace the sleek CC sedan and fills the spot between the Chattanooga-built Passat and the high-end VW Phaeton luxury sedan.
The Sport Coupe is a four-door sedan with a hatchback, a popular style in Europe.
The car is built upon Volkswagen's modular transverse matrix (MQB) which allows much manufacturing flexibility.
But the question most Chattanoogans have is simple: will it be built here?
The VW Chattanooga facility is being adapted for the MQB vehicle platform to build the full-size SUV that was announced in July of 2014. That expansion will bring a total of 2,000 new jobs and a research and development center for 200 engineers.
According to the Automotive News website, it would be relatively easy to add another MQB platform vehicle such as VW's Sport Coupe Concept to Chattanooga's production line.
One VW source told AutoNews that vehicle sales volumes no longer had to reach the 100,000 mark before it made economic sense to build in Chattanooga, thanks to the flexibility provided by the MQB platform.
Volkswagen sold nearly 100,000 Chattanooga-built Passats in the U.S. in 2014, but only managed a tenth of that for the CC, which is imported from Germany, according to Automotive News.
VW brand head of design Klaus Bischoff said 90% of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown in Geneva would end up in the final production version.