2019 Volkswagen Arteon Preview
The current Volkswagen CC is based on the previous-generation Passat platform, a model that first went on sale in the United States for the 2006 model year. To say that the CC is in need of an overhaul is a significant understatement.
That overhaul is coming to U.S. showrooms in the form of the new Volkswagen Arteon, perhaps for the 2018 model year, but if VW’s track record is any indication, more likely as a 2019 model. The car will be built in Emden, Germany, and goes on sale in Europe in the summer of 2017 in standard, R-Line, and Elegance trim levels.
Volkswagen characterizes the new Arteon as a gran turismo vehicle with avant-garde fastback design, and says that it marks “the start of a new design era” for Volkswagen. Equipped with seating for 5 people and a hatchback opening to a large cargo area, the Arteon features a long wheelbase, short overhangs, and low and wide proportions. New styling themes include the full-width grille, hood extending over the fenders, and bolder fender and wheel arch treatments.
Standard equipment for the European market will include LED headlights and taillights and aluminum wheels. The sporty R-Line version adds more aggressive design details while the Elegance has extra chrome and detailing for a more upscale appearance. Available rear dynamic turn signal indicators function similar to those on the latest Audi A4.
Inside, the new Arteon reflects current Audi and Volkswagen design treatments, perhaps most notable in the band containing contrast trim and air vents that wraps into the door panels. In fact, if you were to cover the VW badge on the steering wheel, you might not be able to tell the difference between the Arteon and an Audi model. Standard equipment includes a touch-screen infotainment system, automatic climate control, and power-adjustable front seats.
Trunk room is generous, measuring 19.9 cu. ft. behind the Arteon’s rear seat. Fold it down and this car swallows 55 cu. ft. of cargo, about as much as a small crossover SUV.
Choosing R-Line or Elegance trim rewards Arteon buyers with upgraded aluminum wheel designs, premium leather with Alcantara suede trim, heated front seats, and aluminum pedals covers. The R-Line also gets a flat-bottom sport steering wheel. An oversized sunroof is available.
Sharing its modular architecture with models such as the Audi A4 and Volkswagen Tiguan, it comes as no surprise to learn that the Arteon features turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, front-wheel or all-wheel drive (AWD), and VW’s Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automated manual transmission.
A variety of powertrains will be offered in Europe. For the U.S. market, you can scratch the diesels and the smallest engine off of the menu, leaving two turbocharged 2.0-liter engines. In standard tune, VW says the engine makes 188 horsepower in Europe. The higher-performance version makes 276 horsepower and is paired only with VW’s 4Motion AWD.
Paddle shifters are included for the DSG, and the Arteon is equipped with an undefined “progressive steering system.”
In terms of safety technologies, Volkswagen confirms that the Arteon will have a drowsy-driver monitoring system. It will also offer a full menu of modern driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems, three of which are upgraded compared with current VW systems.
For example, the Arteon’s available next-generation adaptive cruise-control system takes into account speed limits and navigation route information, automatically adjusting vehicle speed in accordance with that data.
A new dynamic cornering light system employs predictive beam control that uses the same GPS and road data to predict bends in the road ahead and to illuminate the curve before the driver turns into it.
The Arteon also offers a next-generation Emergency Assist system that activates if a driver suffers a sudden illness. Within its limits, according to Volkswagen, the system slows the car down and, if possible, steers it onto the closest shoulder of the road.
Every VW Arteon will have keyless entry with push-button engine starting, the automaker says. Available features include a head-up display, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instrumentation, and a premium Discover Pro infotainment system with a 9.2-in. glass display and gesture-control technology.