Volkswagen is preparing to subject its svelte Arteon liftback to a mid-life facelift, and with it will come the addition of a more practical ‘Shooting Brake’ wagon variant.
Teased by the German brand this week with a pair of design sketches, the facelifted fastback and long-roof wagon will adopt mild styling changes, including an LED daytime-running light strip across the width of the grille – connecting the headlights, à la the new Mk8 Golf – and revised lower air intakes for a sportier appearance.
Both vehicles pictured wear ‘R’ insignia on their grilles, however the blue Shooting Brake’s silver R badge and far more aggressive styling – namely with vents beside the headlights, larger lower air intakes and a taller, blacked-out grille – suggests we’re looking at the full-fat, performance-oriented R variant, previously rumoured to debut with the facelifted model.
The jury is out as to what will power the Arteon R. Some believe it will be the same 245kW, 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s set to be used in the next-gen Mk8 Golf R, while others theorise the debut of a new 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged, narrow-angle VR6 developing 400 metric horsepower (294kW).
Given the onset of new EU emissions regulations that would make the development of a new high-performance six-cylinder engine devoid of electrification hard to justify, and Volkswagen’s tendency to look within the Group for powertrains for its models, we’d wager it’s the 2.0-litre that will reach showrooms.
Volkswagen’s official materials promise that “From a technical perspective, the drive range has been re-aligned…”, potentially suggesting the eco-friendly eTSI mild-hybrid and 180kW/400Nm 1.4-litre ‘GTE’ plug-in hybrid options offered on the latest Golf could make the jump to the flagship people’s car.
The interior is set to be significantly reworked, with a new infotainment setup featuring the brand’s latest MIB3 operating system.
The updated Arteon will also offer Volkswagen’s latest suite of driver assistance and active safety systems, including ‘Travel Assist’ which merges adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist to enable semi-autonomous motoring at Autobahn-friendly speeds up to 210km/h.
The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon liftback and Shooting Brake are set to be unveiled on June 24. Stay tuned for Redline for the official reveal.