Volkswagen has revealed the first pictures of its updated Arteon, showing a refreshed look for the fastback as well as an all-new shooting brake estate.
The Arteon is VW’s flagship car, designed as a high-spec, high-quality model to take on the four-door coupes from premium brands and the latest model looks to continue that fight with new looks, new technology and a new drivetrain. There’s even a high-performance R version of the executive barge on its way.
So it’s an estate?
Well, kind of. As before the Arteon comes as a fastback four-door with coupe styling. But for the first time it is also being sold with a big old boot out the back. As with other brands, VW has decided that the “estate” label is too humdrum for its sporty design so has branded it a shooting brake.
Up to the B pillar, both versions of the Arteon are the same, featuring an updated version of the first-gen car’s bold face. Revisions include changes to the grille, air intakes plus new chrome bars and a full-width light strip running through the centre of the grill - similar to the new Golf.
From the B-pillar back, the fastback’s roof and glasshouse sweeps down to give it its coupe-like silhouette - as before. But more interestingly, the shooting brake’s is flatter for longer, curving very slightly towards an angled tailgate topped with a neat roof spoiler. While the roof follows a traditional estate line, the rear glass tapers up towards the D pillar to give it a sleaker look.
If it’s an estate it must have a huge boot
Decent, rather than huge. The shooting brake offers 565 litres of luggage space (compared with the fastback’s 563), rising to 1,632 with the rear seats folded. Volkswagen says the actual capacity is much larger but the official figures only measure up to the belt line. In comparison the Mercedes CLA shooting brake has a 505-litre boot while VW’s own Passat estate is rated at 650 litres.
What about the new technology?
The big news here is Travel Assist - an updated “partly automated” system that combines adaptive cruise control with stop/go, lane keep assist, pedestrian monitoring and autonomous emergency braking to allow assisted driving on the open road and in queuing traffic. Predictive cruise control uses road signs and navigation data to adapt speeds to the surroundings, including towns, junctions, roundabouts and curves.
The interior has been updated with touch-sensitive sliders for the air conditioning and touch controls on the steering wheel (like the Mk8 Golf), and the Arteon now support wireless connection of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. An optional 700-watt Harman/Kadron and 30-colour ambient lighting package are among new optional extras.
I bet the new drivetrains include a hybrid
You’d be right, as with so many new models, the update Arteon comes with a hybrid option alongside regular petrol and diesels. The Arteon eHybrid uses the same plug-in setup as the Passat GTE - a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol and a single electric motor. Combined power is 215bhp and it should be good for 33 miles of all-electric driving.
Traditional powerplants range from a 148bhp diesel up to a 276bhp petrol.
What about this Arteon R?
Sitting at the top of the range, the Arteon R is part of the revised R performance family and both fastback and shooting brake variants will be offered. Using a 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to a seven-speed gearbox and four-wheel-drive system, it will offer 316bhp, 310lb ft and a 0-62mph time of around five seconds.
New for the Arteon is R-Performance Torque Vectoring which will vary torque distribution between front and rear axles and between the rear wheels, meaning in theory that if the conditions require it the Arteon R can send 100 of the torque to a single rear wheel.
Expect some big alloys and R-specific body trim and styling features to make sure everyone knows this is the daddy of the range.