The Arteon replaces the CC and sits above the Passat in Volkswagen’s line-up; UK sales start later this year
First previewed by the Sport Coupe Concept in 2015, the new five-door fastback slots into the Volkswagen line-up above the eighth-generation Passat, with which it shares its platform, engines, chassis and interior.
The Arteon’s opening price is for an Elegance trim level car with a 148bhp 2.0 TDI engine, but the starting figure is expected to decrease closer to £30,000 once an entry 148bhp 1.5 TSI engine is added to the range. The story is much the same for the second trim level, R-Line, which adds sportier features and currently opens from £35,090 with the 2.0 TDI.
Eventually, the Arteon will be sold with a choice of three turbocharged four-cylinder direct injection petrol and three turbocharged four-cylinder common rail diesel engines. The two additional petrols will be 187bhp and 276bhp 2.0-litre TSI powerplants, while the yet to come oil burners will be 187bhp and 236bhp variants of the SCR equipped 2.0 TDI.
The 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol as well as the 148bhp and 187bhp variants of 2.0-litre diesel engines come with a standard six-speed manual gearbox, while the 187bhp and 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol and 236bhp 2.0-litre diesel engines receive a standard seven-speed dual clutch gearbox.
The transversely mounted engines channel drive to the front wheels in all but the most powerful 2.0 TSI and 2.0 TDI models, which run a fifth generation version of Volkswagen’s electro-hydraulic 4Motion four-wheel drive system as standard.
Further driveline options, including a petrol-electric hybrid unit, are planned to be added later on.
The styling of the Arteon is credited to Volkswagen brand design boss, Klaus Bischoff, who describes it as “the start of a new design era”.
Set to challenge the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, it retains the highly contemporary lines of the well received Sport Coupe Concept, albeit with detailed changes to its prominent grille, which forms part of a distinctive full width graphic at the front of the new Volkswagen model in combination with its LED headlamps.
Further design elements carried over from the earlier concept include a contoured clamshell style bonnet, highly detailed air duct design within the front bumper, heavily flanged wheel arches, prominent shoulder line along the flanks, distinctive scalloping within the lower section of the doors, curved roofline, muscular rear hunches, fastback tailgate, horizontally positioned LED tail lamps and twin trapezoidal shaped tailpipes integrated within the lower section of the rear bumper.
In its most sporting guise, R-Line, the new five-door fastback receives high gloss black air intakes at the front, uniquely styled bumpers, chrome embellishments within the lower bodywork, 18-inch alloy wheels and chromed tailpipes.
At 4862mm in length, 1871mm in width and 1427mm in height, the Arteon is 60mm longer, 16mm wider and 10mm taller than its predecessor, the CC.
Inside, Wolfsburg’s new fastback adopts an updated version of the Passat’s dashboard and interior appointments. Included among a number of high end options is Volkswagen’s high definition Active Info Display as an alternative to traditional analogue instruments as well as a centrally mounted 9.2-inch infotainment monitor with both touch and gesture control.
With a wheelbase of 2841mm – some 131mm longer than the CC and 51mm longer than the existing Passat, Volkswagen claims the Arteon offers class leading rear seat accommodation. Nominal boot space is put at 563 litres, some 33 litres more than the CC, increasing to 1557 litres when the 40:20:40 rear seats are folded away.
Among the new developments brought to the new Volkswagen is a revised version of the German car maker’s Emergency Assist driver assistance system. As well as being able to bring the car to a stop when it detects the driver is incapacitated as before, it now enables the car to autonomously change lanes before stopping to avoid a possible collision.
VW’s chairman of the board Herbert Diess said «The Arteon is for people who listen to their heart and their brain, in the past it was a choice of either or, but now we are challenging premium makers.»
The Arteon will be produced at Volkswagen’s Emden plant in Germany alongside the eighth-generation Passat from June.
Rivalling cars including the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5, the model’s eventual expected starting price of just over £30,000 is a considerable rise over the CC, which started from £25,475.