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New 2017 Volkswagen Arteon: specs, engines and assistance technology

All-new flagship Volkswagen Arteon coupe will rival BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe when it arrives this autumn, priced from around £30k
Volkswagen has a new flagship saloon on the way in 2017. Called the Arteon, it’s a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe rival boasting rakish five-door coupe styling, a new Volkswagen design language which will be applied across the marque’s next generation flagship models, and the latest VW infotainment and driver assists. VW’s new 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine with cylinder deactivation finds its way under the bonnet, and a 276bhp, 2.0-litre TSI all-wheel-drive model will top the range.

• VW Arteon prototype review

It was revealed at this year's Geneva Motor Show and will go on sale in the UK this autumn, with prices kicking off around the £30,000 mark. It replaces the CC in VW’s line-up, though the firm is keen to stress that the Arteon is a more upmarket offering than that car ever was. 

New Volkswagen Arteon: fresh VW design language
 
Sitting on the VW Group’s MQB platform, the 4,862mm long Arteon stands out from the rest of the VW range thanks to the implementation of a new design language heavily influenced by the Sport Coupe Concept revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015. The large bonnet caps the whole front end of the car, dipping into the wheelarches and meeting the new LED headlights. The lights themselves are seamlessly part of the wide, horizontal grille – a design trait Volkswagen says will be more prevalent in its next generation models. 

The five-door coupe roofline is paired with a strong character line running from the headlights to the tail-lights, creating a noticeable shoulder towards the rear of the car. Around the back, new horizontal LED tail-lights are placed beneath a small lip spoiler on the hatch lid, which opens up to reveal a 563-litre boot. 

New Volkswagen Arteon: interior and technology
In the cabin, the most striking feature is the long horizontal air vent stretching the width of the dashboard, similar to the one found in the Passat. It’s joined by a low-profile ambient lighting strip, which merges into the front doors to create a cocooned feel up front. Three seats are in found in the rear, with 1,016mm of legroom for passengers. Fold them down, and it creates a 1,557-litre boot. 

Volkswagen promises three different interior ‘themes’ for the Arteon – black, dark grey and a combination of dark and light grey. Cloth, Alcantara and leather upholstery will be available depending on spec, while Nappa leather finishes will be on the options list. Fine Birch wood trim will be available on range-topping models, while sportier R-Line cars will get aluminium accents. Both will be combined with piano black centre console panels. 

In terms of cabin tech, VW’s Active Info Display digital instrument panel is on the options list, alongside the firm’s new range of infotainment systems, ranging from a standard 6.5-inch display to the 9.2-inch Discover Pro setup with gesture control. Fresh driver assistance tech makes its debut, including a new generation adaptive cruise control system and self-steering emergency assist. 

New Volkswagen Arteon: driver assistance and safety
Volkswagen has revealed one of the new driver safety and assistance features heading the way of the Areton in the form of Emergency Assist 2.0 – a system which makes full use of the Arteon’s suite of assists to take brief control of the car in an emergency. 

Emergency Assist 2.0 is intended to deal with worst-case scenarios such as the driver becoming incapacitated at the wheel. In short, if it detects an unresponsive driver.

If the car senses that the driver has not used the wheel or pedals for a certain period of time, the system will first deploy ‘countermeasures’ such as warning signals and lights, plus physical autonomous brake jolt signals. If these measures aren’t enough, the emergency stop system steps in. The hazard lights automatically switch on, and by using the lane keep assist in tandem with the steering controls from the parking assist feature, the Arteon will begin to move across into the nearside lane. Side assist uses ultrasound sensors to detect traffic around the vehicle, while the adaptive cruise control regulates brake and throttle. 

New Volkswagen Arteon: engines, powertrains and performance
Six engines appear at launch. VW’s new 1.5 TSI petrol engine forms the base option with 148bhp and cylinder deactivation technology. It’s joined by two 2.0-litre options which we've driven already in a pre-production model – one with 187bhp and a more powerful 276bhp engine mated to 4MOTION four-wheel drive as standard.

The three diesels are all 2.0 TDI units, with 148bhp, 187bhp and 237bhp respectively. 4MOTION all-wheel-drive will be an option on cars with the 187bhp diesel, while it’ll be standard on the 237bhp car.

Seven-speed DSG gearboxes are available on all engines, and will be standard on the 2.0-litre petrol models as well as the range-topping diesel. 

Economy figures remain withheld for all but two models – the range-topping petrol and diesel units. The 276bhp 2.0 TSI will return a claimed 38.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 164g/km. The 237bhp 2.0 TDI manages 47.9mpg, in tandem with 152g/km CO2. 

Hybrid power could arrive further down the line. The Sport Coupe Concept GTE concept from 2015 used a 374bhp 3.0-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain hinting at a future Arteon GTE model. In concept form, it promised an impressive 118mpg and CO2 emissions of 46g/km.

New Volkswagen Arteon: price and on sale date
When the Arteon goes on sale later this year, it’ll be offered in three variants. Standard models will get 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail-lights, VW’s 6.5-inch Composition Media infotainment touchscreen, plus six-way adjustable seats and driver assists including Progressive steering and VW’s Driver Alert System. Elegance cars add executive saloon trappings such as larger 18-inch alloy wheels and additional chrome trim on the bodywork, while the Arteon R-Line cuts a sportier look inside and out. 

No official UK prices have been revealed, though the Arteon should start from around £30,000. In Germany, range topping variants are already on sale - the 276bhp 2.0-litre TSI Arteon is priced at the equivalent of £43,000, with the 237bhp 2.0-litre TDI coming in at £45,000. 

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