Singapore – There are traditional sedans, and there are sports cars. The former offer a great deal of space and comfort, while the latter feature sharp styling and pure performance. Volkswagen is introducing a new model that combines these two automotive worlds – the Arteon. This is a gran turismo featuring an avant-garde design and a great deal of space. It is efficient and powerful with a distinct performance character, yet it is also comfortable like a luxury sedan, making it perfectly suited for everyday use. The Arteon sets new benchmarks in its segment, and marks the start of a new design era at Volkswagen.
In 2015, Volkswagen presented an avant-garde concept car at the Geneva International Motor Show – the Sport Coupe Concept GTE. The statement it made then was clear: this gran turismo will usher in a new phase of Volkswagen design. Now, the concept car that garnered worldwide attention has entered production nearly unchanged.
The name of the Arteon is derived from two parts: ‘art’ describes the car’s outstanding lines and emotionality, and ‘eon’ defines it as a luxury model. The Arteon is positioned above the Passat in the Volkswagen line-up, and is produced at the German plant in Emden. It is designed on the Volkswagen modular transverse matrix (MQB) vehicle platform – this matrix is used for a wide range of vehicle classes, and features a transversely-mounted front engine.
Thanks to the MQB, the Arteon has dynamic proportions and plenty of space. Standout features of the Arteon include a bonnet with a clamshell design that extends a long way forward and partially over both wings. The wide radiator grille encompasses the car’s full width. A long wheelbase of 2,837mm spans the axles of the car – this allows for plentiful legroom in the Arteon as well as the largest boot capacity in its class. Accordingly, the body overhangs of the 4,862mm long model are short. Also designed in the style of a sports car is the powerful shoulder section at the rear, the muscular wings and the flared wheel arches.
On the inside, the Arteon impresses with the Active Info Display (a fully digital and configurable instrument cluster), Head-up Display, and the Discover Pro infotainment system featuring a 9.2-inch capacitive glass screen and gesture control. The Area View system is also available on the Arteon – this camera-based surroundings visualisation system enables a 360-degree view around the car.
At launch, Volkswagen is offering the Arteon R-Line, powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged TSI engine with 276hp of power and 350Nm of torque. It features the 4MOTION permanent all-wheel drive system, a quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG), as well as the latest generation of Dynamic Chassis Control. A Dynaudio sound system is also available on the Arteon R-Line.
The Arteon is 4,862mm long, 1,871mm wide and 1,450mm tall. Its athletic lines encompass a highly functional overall concept. "The Arteon combines the design elements of a classic sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback. An avant-garde business-class gran turismo that speaks to the heart and head alike", says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design. With its long wheelbase, stretched roofline, coupé-style fastback design, and a large rear hatch, this gran turismo provides more space and flexibility than conventional sedans.
A dynamic front end. The design of the Arteon is expressive, logical, and precise. The radiator grille is the widest and deepest of the entire Volkswagen range – this is the ‘face’ of a new Volkswagen generation. The upper cross-bars enclose the LED headlights, and simultaneously, finely-integrated LED light conductors perform the functions of daytime running lights and position lights. The lighting elements, radiator grille, and bonnet form one harmonious unit.
Bonnet like that of a sports car. Another key feature of the Arteon is its bonnet with a clamshell design that extends over the entire front end and up to the wheel arches. It extends slightly over the LED headlights, and runs over the headlights while continuing the lines of the radiator grille further into the sides and to the rear of the car. The bonnet is also one of the largest in the entire Volkswagen Group. When the bonnet is opened, the wheel housing shells are visible – this is unconventional for a car of this type. On the sides, the sharp bonnet lines over the wheel wells give the Arteon an extremely low and sporty look.
A superior side and rear profile. "We have a line", says Bischoff, "that runs through the entire car and brings the volume of the Arteon even closer to the ground.” This is also known as the character line. It starts in the radiator grille, runs cleanly over the side profile, and goes into the tail lights.
The character line then develops into a sharp undercut at the rear, visually reducing the height of the Arteon and carries the strong shoulder section upwards. Above this, there is the long line of windows known as a daylight opening (DLO) that extends into the C pillar. The door windows themselves are frameless, while the DLO is surrounded by an elegant chrome frame. The DLO gives the Arteon an elegant, low and coupé-like look in conjunction with the strong character line.
Viewed from the rear, it is clear to see the dominance of the shoulder sections. The muscular form stretches to the side and into the rear bodywork. From a slightly elevated perspective, this produces a rear end design which follows the example of a classic sports car in its lines – a coupé-shaped glasshouse (roof and glass surfaces) on strong flanks. In addition, the concise LED tail lights create an unmistakeable night design. The Arteon is also equipped with a dynamic turn signal.
Structurally, the MQB allows for a combination of ultra high-strength and hot-stamped steel in the car’s bodywork. This results in extremely high body rigidity which is one of the most critical factors with respect to achieving optimal handling and superior ride comfort.