New Volkswagen Arteon teased ahead of Geneva reveal

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New flagship Volkswagen Arteon will be the brand’s response to the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, sitting above the Passat in the range

Volkswagen has teased its headline act for this year’s Geneva Motor Show – a new flagship fastback saloon model called the Arteon – with fresh images of the car ahead of its full reveal early next month.

The teaser images confirm the fresh design language Volkswagen is introducing for its sleek new model. The car’s completely new front end boasts a face seamlessly integrating the headlights into the large front grille, with the LED lighting signature lining up with the chrome-plated slats.

The other teaser shot highlight’s the car’s strong rear shoulders, as well as its coupe-like fastback rear and new taillights.

It’s a ‘totally new model’, sitting above the Passat in VW’s range. It’ll replace the to-be discontinued CC, though VW is keen to stress that this new model is a step up in class and isn’t a direct replacement – the Arteon name hints it’ll be pitched as a flagship.

A previous teaser sketch reveals it to be a low, sleek, Mercedes CLS-like four-door coupe. Our exclusive images (below) show how the car will look when it arrives later this year, and these latest spy shots show the car’s sleek profile, with a flowing roofline and long rear overhang for a sporty look.

VW is angling the Arteon as a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe rival and it’s likely to arrive with a price tag starting around £30,000 when it goes on sale in the UK in autumn 2017. That would put it head and shoulders above the CC in terms of price and expected quality – that car starts from £25,475.

The carmaker says that the Arteon will serve as an introduction for a new ‘horizontally accentuated’ brand look. VW also says it’ll get frameless windows, and the top hinged tailgate opens up a large boot – there will be 1,700 litres of space on offer with the rear row of seats folded flat.

Technology will form a key part of the car’s image too, with driver assists and semi-autonomous features firmly in the shop window. Volkswagen hasn’t revealed specifics, but lane keep assist and automated emergency braking technology should definitely appear. Volkswagen promises the “latest generation of driver assistance systems”, and features that are “typically reserved for luxury automobiles”.

Despite the disguise on the prototype our spy photographers saw testing, it’s clear that the Arteon will get a much curvier design compared to the Passat’s straight-laced looks. As expected, the exterior appears to be heavily based on the Sport Coupe Concept GTE shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015. The front-end is much more rounded than the Passat, thanks to a clamshell bonnet, while the windscreen is steeply raked.

Side-on, the taller shoulder line of the Arteon is evident, as is the coupe-like roofline and sloping rear window. The large LED taillight design is carried over when looking at the latest teaser pictures, while the car’s face is clearly lifted from the Sport Coupe Concept GTE, with necessary production model tweaks.

It’s not clear yet whether the Arteon will offer five seats (with a cramped middle chair in the back) like its Passat CC predecessor, or move to a four-seat layout with a central console.

Volkswagen has confirmed that the Arteon will use the ubiquitous MQB platform though it’ll be stretched 50mm for the new flagship four-door coupe, offering passengers in the back extra legroom.

The four-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel engines from launch will be familiar VW fare, but the concept debuted a 374bhp 3.0-litre petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain which could eventually make it into showrooms as the Arteon GTE. That promised an impressive 118mpg and CO2 emissions of 46g/km, too.

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