VW's smartwatch-connecting, mood-sensitive concept car

At the 2015 Geneva auto show, Volkswagen will show a concept car featuring new styling and new tech, including the ability to understand and react to a driver's mood.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE
Volkswagen's Sport Coupe Concept GTE shows off new design cues at the Geneva auto show. Volkswagen

Volkswagen sent out a press release and pictures of a new concept car it will unveil during the 2015 Geneva auto show today, showing off the company's newest design language, efficient drivetrain technologies and futuristic cabin electronics.

The new concept, called the Sport Coupe GTE, measure almost 16 feet long, with Volkswagen classifying it above the mid-size B-segment CC model. The Sport Coupe GTE may herald a new C segment car for Volkswagen. Its styling, with four doors and a hatchback, make it similar to the Audi A7, a brand under the Volkswagen Group.

The cabin, with a console running down the center, seats four. Along with an infotainment screen in front, Volkswagen gives rear passengers their own screen tied into the entertainment system. As its most unique feature, Volkswagen writes that the car could pair with a smartwatch or fitness band, and assess the driver's mood. Using that information, it could plan navigation routes more soothing for an already frazzled driver, as one example.

Volkswagen previews Sport Coupe Concept GTE before Geneva (pictures)

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Its design exaggerates some current elements of Volkswagen design. Where cars such as the new Golf connect the headlight openings with a narrow grille opening, the Sport Coupe GTE adds a section of lower bars to the grille, reminiscent of the goatee era of Volkswagen grille design. In pictures, body-colored roof rails hold up a panoramic glass roof and make for a graceful curve from hood to hatchback. The rear fenders flare out slightly, suggesting performance.

GTE in the name notes the performance-oriented plug-in hybrid drivetrain in the car, similar to that of the Golf GTE . In the Sport Coupe GTE, that system uses electric motors at the front and rear wheels, along with a 295 horsepower V-6 gasoline engine. Volkswagen notes the total drivetrain output as 374 horsepower. While the engine and electric motor combine to drive the front wheels, the rear electric motor operates on electricity from the car's battery pack or generated from the engine.

Volkswagen rates the electric range at 32 miles, and total range at over 745 miles.

Read more of CNET's coverage from the 2015 Geneva auto show.