Volkswagen debuted a new, sport-inspired midsize sedan at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Gran Turismo — which carries over the looks of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE Volkswagen first shown in 2015 — embraces the “four-door coupe” body style with a long hood and raked roofline. And it will offer a powerful engine to back up those looks.
Three trims have been confirmed for the Arteon. The base trim will come standard with LED headlamps and taillights, keyless entry and start, an eight-speaker infotainment system with USB input, automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, and a leather steering wheel with paddle shifters (on DSG-equipped models).
The two higher-tier trims will receive 18-inch wheels, special exterior accents, heated front seats, and leather and suede upholstery with contrast stitching. The Arteon R-Line will offer a more aggressive look and feel, with a unique steering wheel and bumpers. An Elegance trim will be focused on luxury and offer more chrome exterior trim pieces. Additional upgrades will include a head-up display and an all-new infotainment system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen interface and gesture control.
A number of engine choices are available, but not all of them will make the journey to U.S. shores. A turbocharged 2.0-liter making 188 horsepower, powering the front wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, will certainly be offered and will be very familiar to American customers. A more potent 276-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, which will come with a seven-speed automatic and all-wheel drive, will be offered in Europe. There’s no word yet whether this hotter engine will be available in the U.S., but if what you’re hoping for is a proper baby Audi A7 now might be the time to start a petition or email campaign.
No diesel options will be offered in this country. U.S. fuel economy estimates have also not yet been released.
Volkswagen will also debut several safety features in the 2019 Arteon. An updated adaptive cruise control system will automatically adjust cruising speed based on posted speed limits. New adaptive headlamps will predict upcoming curves and adjust direction accordingly. The new Emergency Assist system will slow the car down and, if possible, steer on the shoulder should the driver become incapacitated.
The Arteon will have a slightly longer wheelbase than the similar size Passat yet have slightly less overall length thanks to short front and rear overhangs. This should translate into a roomy front seat and good rear legroom (although four-door coupes generally don’t fare well when it comes to rear headroom).
Underpinning the 2019 Arteon will be the same chassis used for the Audi A3, Audi TT and upcoming Audi Q3, as well as the Volkswagen Passat and upcoming Tiguan. In most of these applications, the platform has been praised for its composure and road manners, so we have high hopes for the Arteon’s driving experience.
Overall, the Arteon looks to be a promising entry in the sporty midsize sedan segment.