2021 VW Arteon expands range with Shooting Brake and R
The VW Arteon started life as “a stylish Passat,” even badged as the Passat CC initially, then dropping the Passat to become the VW CC before finally getting its own name. For the new year, 2021 VW Arteon gets minor changes, a new body style as well as oodles of performance, in the form of 2021 VW Arteon R. The irony is that the Arteon has been dropped from the Middle East line-up already due to slow sales and overpricing, but let’s not dwell on that.
The Arteon is one of those cars that wouldn’t get you debating with most people when it comes to its design. The clean lines of the fastback are loved by all so VW’s artists haven’t played with them much. Minor changes are made to the air intakes up front. The Arteon R, being a performance-oriented version, gets bigger air intakes. A new LED strip now sits between the headlights. The new VW logo is used here along with the Arteon nameplate, in a new font. But the real juice here is the new shooting brake.
A smooth blend of an estate and a coupe, the shooting brake is arguably one of the most dashing car body styles. The new 2021 VW Arteon Shooting brake is no contradiction to this claim. The clean lines of fastback are gracefully bent to follow the silhouette of the long-roof model. The new rear windscreen seamlessly flows into the roof, rendering a very handsome vehicle. But apart from the visual change, the shooting brake does not add much practicality to the Arteon, barely increasing the boot space by a modest 75 litres. Nothing to complain, as the fastback was already spacious to start with.
The interior of the 2021 Arteon is made more stylish with a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls, new HVAC controls, and 30-colour ambient lighting. New materials line the dashboard’s highest bits, adding to the opulence. An 8-inch touchscreen is used for the infotainment system, across the range. This runs VW’s latest MIB system and supports Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as connection to multiple phones. A 700-watt, 12-speaker Harman/Kardon music system can be added to the mix as an option. The instrument cluster does away with the dials, employing a 10.25-inch screen for the job. In the sportier Arteon R, you’ll get grippier seats and blue accents.
Powering the Arteon is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit, good enough for 268 hp and 350 Nm. This is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and FWD as standard. VW’s “4Motion” AWD is optional on the higher trims. In Europe, the Arteon gets a 215 hp plug-in-hybrid powertrain. The more potent Arteon R gets 315 hp and 420 Nm of torque. This gets mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. AWD is standard with the Arteon R.
The 2021 VW Arteon is now a complete range with the arrival of the new versions. Different regions of the globe get different flavours of this new VW. The United States will only get the fastback, not the shooting brake, not the R. Europe gets the full bounty while China makes do with a rugged-looking Alltrack-ish version of the Shooting Brake. None seem to be coming here.