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VW mid-sized coupe to challenge Mercedes CLA

The NMC's simple grille and LED headlamps spanning the width of front end give the car clear family ties to other recent VW models.

The Volkswagen NMC -- New Mid-sized Coupe -- concept makes official the carmaker's plans for a style-led sedan to challenge the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

Unveiled at the Beijing auto show, the new four-door car closely previews a future Jetta-based model that will slot into the Volkswagen lineup beneath the existing Passat CC, most likely in 2016.

Volkswagen design boss Klaus Bischoff describes the NMC as an “avant-garde protagonist for a new compact sedan class.”

The car continues the current Volkswagen design lineage, with crisp features and lines, heavily horizontal detailing, and taut surfacing -- all aimed at providing it with a technical-inspired appearance.

A simple grille and LED headlamps span the width of front end, giving the new car clear family ties to other recent new Volkswagen models. In a bid to provide it with an added sense of sportiness, Volkswagen designers have taken inspiration from the Volkswagen CC in providing the NMC with a heavily curved roofline, frameless doors, and notchback-style rear.

The production version of the NMC is set to be built at Volkswagen's plant in Puebla, Mexico, and a joint venture factory in China. Underpinning the sedan will be Volkswagen's versatile MQB platform.

It's unclear if and when the coupe will be marketed in the United States.

You can reach Greg Kable at

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