VOLKSWAGEN has unveiled the new version of the Arteon, its upmarket fastback saloon, accompanied by the all-new Arteon Shooting Brake.
Both models now come with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain option and sporty “R” variant. The former uses the same PHEV system as found in the Passat GTE, which has an electric-only range of 33 miles. VW says this is sufficient for many drivers to do their daily distance in zero-emissions mode.
The Arteon R models, meanwhile, will use VW’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, giving the flagship model 316bhp. Power goes to all four wheels and torque vectoring feeds each individually with what it needs for maximum grip and improved cornering ability.
The VW Arteon was introduced in 2017 as a luxury grand tourer to rival cars like the Audi A5 Sportback, Volvo S90 and Mercedes C-Class. In his review of the model for Sunday Times Driving, Jeremy Clarkson noted the former model’s attractive looks and spaciousness but struggled to see its purpose, saying: “I wouldn’t buy one and neither will you because it satisfies a demand that doesn’t exist.”
VW may have introduced the shooting brake version of the Arteon, to appeal to a wider demographic than the fastback alone. It is the same from the B-pillars forward — the main differences come at the back, of course, with the shooting brake’s rear end falling somewhere between an estate and a coupé. It only offer small improvements to luggage space — 565 litres without the rear seats folded down and 1,632 litres with them down, compared with 563 and 1,557 litres for the fastback.
The spaciousness for rear passengers has been preserved in the fastback, while the shooting brake offers more headroom in both the front and back seats.
Aesthetic amendments to the facelifted Arteon include a continuous light strip, alterations to the grille and new air intakes. There’s also a unique LED light signature for when you’re driving at night and a new range of alloy wheels.
On the interior, there’s a few improvements to make the Arteon feel more exclusive, including a new multifunction steering wheel with touch controls and wireless integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also background lighting which can be changed between 30 colours.
All of the optional driver assists you expect in a modern car are included, including semi-automated driving up to 130mph, Lane Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking Front Assist and a reversing camera.
The Arteon is set go on sale this Autumn. Prices have not yet been revealed, though as a guide the outgoing model starts at £33,535.