Brian WilliamsCar and Driver
- Unfortunately, Volkswagen won’t bring the Arteon’s upcoming wagon or high-performance R variants to the U.S.
- The Arteon will receive a thorough upgrade for the 2021 model year for our market.
- The interior will get big changes, and the all-wheel-drive system may benefit from upgrades.
Volkswagen is planning some exciting new versions of its Arteon flagship: the wagon variant you see here in spy photos, and a high-performance R model with lots more power. While this is good news altogether, we are disappointed to learn that VW won’t bring these two extensions of the Arteon lineup to America.
Europe and China will get the Arteon wagon, which VW will refer to as a “shooting brake” even though that name typically refers to a two-door wagon body style. It looks every bit as sleek as you can imagine and should offer even more cargo space than the existing Arteon hatchback.
The Arteon R, meanwhile, is slated to get a version of VW’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine that will be rated at around 330 horsepower, up significantly from the 268-hp 2.0T model we get in the U.S.
Talk to your VW dealer to complain, but we can tell you that chances are slim that VW will change its mind about these variants. And there is a bitter pill to swallow even for Europe: The idea of a turbocharged VR6 engine that VW’s engineers have toyed with is dead.
Hey, VW is not a premium brand anymore. But there is an updated version of the Arteon coming for the 2021 model year that is still pretty cool. When it comes to market in late 2020, it will sport a new front fascia, a new grille, a new rear bumper and upgraded head- and taillights. These elements will be more aggressive and angular, especially for the R-Line trim.
But the most significant changes happen inside, where the Arteon will sport VW’s latest infotainment system and a new dashboard with futuristic touchscreen displays. While the Arteon’s 268-horsepower 2.0-liter four remains unchanged, we expect the optional 4Motion all-wheel-drive system to be retuned for more agility and better performance.