VW Arteon: Fresh ‘five-door’ flagship to sail to SA

  • Luxurious five-door fastback is new VW flagship
  • ‘Fine design’, state-of-the-art tech, in Arteon
  • Two high-spec trims, clever crash-protection
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany

MILTON KEYNES, England – Volkswagen’s new flagship, the Arteon, has reached retailers in the UK and is expected in South Africa towards the end of 2017. Prices in Europe might equate to about a half-million rands.

The automaker describes the Arteon as “an avant-garde gran turismo with svelte fastback styling – four-door hatch with five seats, sports car detailing and luxury motoring in a muscular yet elegant design”.

2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany

It will sit above the current VW passenger flagship, the Passat, with “more space, premium functionality and greater levels of autonomy”.

‘BRISTLING WITH TECHNOLOGY’

It’s a pretty long machine at 4862mm and is 1871mm wide and 1450mm high with a 2837mm wheelbase to accommodate its five passengers “in considerable comfort”. Cargo/luggage volume is listed as 563 litres though, rear seats folded, this will increase to 1557 litres .

“The Arteon,” VW says, “is bristling with advanced technology, among it a number of new enhanced assistance systems. It’s efficient and powerful with a distinct performance character – yet still a comfortable and relaxing drive.”

The Corner first told you about the car back in November 2016.

Prices and model selection are not yet sorted for South Africa, but in the right-hand driver British market punters will be able to compare units with a choice of three turbocharged direct-injection engines: a 140kW 2.0 TSI (petrol) and two 2.0 TDI (diesel) capable of 180 or 130kW.

2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany

Each unit will be space-savingly transverse-mounted.

Later (perhaps in time for the South African launch?) will come a new 112kW 1.5 TSI (petrol) Evo unit with fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology – a tech that’s been around for many years from, if we recall correctly, Chrysler – and a 145kW 2.0 TSI (petrol).

‘POTENT UNITS’ TO HAVE AWD

Each of the engines can be hooked to a DSG dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox and the most potent units also have VW 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard. All other models will be front-wheel drive. The 112kW petrol and diesel-fuelled Arteons will offer a six-speed manual gearbox.

The Arteon will ride on VW’s flexible modular transverse matrix which also carries vehicles from the latest Golf to the US-built Atlas SUV. “Each is,” VW says, “characterised by distinctly dynamic proportions and generous interior space which results from the axles being set with a front and rear bias, respectively. This will also be a feature of the Arteon.”

2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany

Despite the car’s large hatch, VW adds, body rigidity has been increased by 10% as measured against a comparable sedan. “This allows precise steering, responsive handling and optimal ride comfort. Passive safety is among best in class thanks, in part, to the Arteon’s innovative body construction.”

Further supporting its safety credentials, and contributing to its Euro NCAP five-star crash protection/avoidance rating, “active bonnet technology” protects not only passengers but also pedestrians. Explosive charges, detonated by impact, instantly raise the bonnet away from the engine block in an attempt to cushion any pedestrian involved.

Its intended to operate from 25-55km/h.

2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA with choice of engines and AWD. Image: VW Germany

The cars claim to have a drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.265 thanks, VW says, to a sophisticated aero design. “The balance of downforce on each axle,” the automaker adds, “stabilises the rear of the vehicle – the result is confident handling and stability right up to top speed.

“The Arteon has no need of a deployabe rear spoiler.”

The cars will be (offered according to market) in two trim levels – luxurious Elegance or more sporty ‘R-Line’ – a nomenclature already adopted on the current Golf R.

Standard equipment should include, at minimum, the latest Discover Navigation system with a 20cm colour touchscreen, eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, and VW’s Media Control – control of the infotainment system through a compatible smartphone or tablet.

2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany

But wait, there’s more… digital instruments on the 31cm Active Info Display; alloy wheel rims starting at 18″; diode-lit self-levelling headlights; tinted diode rear light clusters with dynamic indicators; Nappa leather upholstery and three-zone auto aircon.

Standard driving assistance systems in each Arteon will include “following” cruise control, emergency braking assistance, lane-keeping and a tired-driver alert.

Cruise control said to be debuting in the Arteon uses GPS to “see” speed limits and slow or accelerate the car as required. A front camera, working within system limits, will adjust vehicle speed ahead of road curves, traffic circles and road junctions.

2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany
2017 VW ARTEON: New flagship four-door hatch headed for SA. Image: VW Germany

A windscreen “head-up” display is an option, as is a Discover Pro infotainment system with a 23cm glass screen than will accept gesture control. Other options probably available in South Africa will include a sunroof, massaging front seats, heatable steering-wheel, Dynaudio ‘Confidence’ sound pack that adds a 16-channel digital amplifier, 700W output and 11 speakers, and 20″ alloy wheel rims.

CLICK HERE for more details on each Arteon, along with brochures and (guidance only for SA) pricing, and to use VW’s online configurator.

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