2017 Geneva - Arteon debuts as Volkswagen's new flagship

Volkswagen hogged the limelight at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with the stylish Sport Coupe Concept GTE, thereby previewing the design direction of the brand as well as a potential future model. Two years hence, at the same venue, Volkswagen is doing a repeat act, this time with the production version, christened the Arteon.

When it goes on sale this autumn, the Arteon will slot in above the Passat as Volkswagen's new flagship.

Little has changed in the two years it took Volkswagen to convert the concept to a production model, meaning the Arteon looks as good as, if not more, than the Sport Coupe Concept GTE. Wide, low-slung, sleek and devoid of overdone cuts and creases in the sheet metal, the Arteon impresses with clean lines and spot-on proportions. The front end is characterized by the long hood that extends deep into the fenders on either sides like sports cars and the wide radiator grille that runs end to end. The large single-piece grille feature two distinct sections, the upper half merging seamlessly with the headlights and the lower half defining the lines in the bumper. Other attractive elements include the flared wheel arches, the coupe-like roofline, the horizontal character line running the length of the car and the prominent bootlid spoiler.

The Arteon, Volkswagen claims, is a gran turismo. That meant the focus during development was as much on space and practicality as was on design and styling. Helping the cause is the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform on which the Arteon is based. In this layout, the engine is transversely mounted, thereby liberating space. Volkswagen claims impressive rear legroom and luggage space that could be extended up to 1,557 liters.

The interiors are a typical Volkswagen affair with build quality and function taking precedence over form. Of course, the flat-bottom steering wheel and the slim air-conditioning vents that span the length of the dashboard look great and add a touch of class to a cabin that looks plush, well-built and neatly laid out. The center console houses a 9.2-inch infotainment screen that feature intuitive gesture control and makes do without analogue buttons.

As you would expect from a flagship, a host of advanced driver assistance and convenience systems make their debut in the Arteon. These include Adaptive Cruise Control that takes into account the speed limits and route information, dynamic cornering lights with predictive beam control, advanced second-generation Emergency Assist that’s capable of steering the car automatically into the slow lane while simultaneously braking the car to a stop, Lane Assist that reacts to other vehicles, Proactive occupant protection system (PreCrash), Side Assist and Sign Assist. 

In terms of powertrain options, the Arteon gets a choice of two petrol engines (1.5 TSI and 2.0 TSI) offering three states of tune from 148 horsepower to 276 horsepower and the 2.0 TDI diesel engine with three different states of tune from 148 horsepower to 237 horsepower. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and the popular 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. 

As impressive as the Arteon is, India is not likely to feature in the list of countries where the car would go on sale. But wait, did we tell you the Passat is headed here?

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